Governor Hochul Announces $10 Million in Funding for the Fashion Innovation Center During New York Fashion Week
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $10 million in state funding for the Fashion Innovation Center, which will foster a collaborative approach to using smart, sustainable textiles produced by New York State. Empire State Development will lead the creation of a consortium-led FIC, which will utilize expertise from New York State universities, farms, fashion industry leaders and nonprofits. FIC will focus on meeting the needs of the fashion industry, utilizing New York State-produced crops for fiber materials, and cultivating technologies that advance sustainability and innovation through to wearable technologies in the fashion and textile industries. The FIC will also include a Sustainable Fashion Innovation Center Accelerator, focused on creating smart, sustainable alternatives that solve industry problems at scale, create green jobs, promote state-of-the-art textiles and support sustainable fashion.
Governor Hochul announced the new FIC during New York Fashion Week, which runs from September 7-14. In recognition of this industry-wide event, the Governor attended the Coach fashion show in New York.
“As the fashion capital of the world, New York is the perfect fit for cutting-edge solutions to make this booming industry more innovative and sustainable,” Governor Hochul said. “The Fashion Innovation Center will foster collaboration between fashion, agriculture and other industries to reduce our environmental footprint, limit waste and create opportunity in New York State.”
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said: “Agriculture is an important part of New York State’s economy, and as the fashion industry moves toward a more sustainable future, we must capitalize on the opportunity to connect industries across the agriculture and fashion, both vital to the future of our state. The new Fashion Center Innovation will make New York State a leader in promoting locally produced sustainable fibers, create jobs and will help achieve Governor Hochul’s national climate goals.”
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said: “Locally produced textiles and the farmers who make them are an important part of New York agriculture. We are thrilled that the Fashion Innovation Center’s promotion of New York State farmers and manufacturers producing fibers and of textiles supports our state’s economy and local communities while focusing on environmental sustainability – a win-win situation for all.”
Globally, the fashion and textile industry contributes 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, more than all international flights and shipping combined. This is due to heavy reliance on fossil fuels, decentralized supply chains and improper disposal of end-of-life products. New technologies and material processing approaches offer the potential for more “smart” and “sustainable” fashion, and New York farms are currently producing the necessary raw materials, such as linen, flax, cotton and hemp that can be made into usable textiles. in these larger scale applications.
Sustainable textiles are the future of fashion, and New York State is poised to lead the way in the environmentally responsible production of these materials. Smart textiles are a cutting-edge industry that has applications for countless professions, from athletes to first responders and healthcare professionals.
Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation will issue a request for proposals to select the consortium, which will include universities, businesses, farmers, fashion industry leaders and non-profit organizations. The accelerator, hosted within the FIC, will provide space for start-ups working on promising developments in the field, who are strong candidates for commercialization and can be challenged to solve the real problems of partners in the industry.
The FIC will solicit, evaluate, and oversee projects that focus on industry challenges and opportunities, with priority given to those involving the use of New York State crops and material inputs and the cultivation of technologies. that accelerate sustainability in the fashion and textile industry. Through a competitive process, the FIC will provide grants to New York State small businesses in the fashion industry, providing a critical link between industry leaders and innovation and supporting projects that aim to improve the sustainability of the industry.
State Senator Michelle Hinchey said: “Sustainable textiles are not just the future of fashion, but the future of a thriving farm-to-fabric industry that New York’s small fiber growers are already leading. With this exciting new innovation center in New York Fashion Week and support for industry-generating legislation, like my bill, The New York Textile Act (S8741A), we can make New York a powerful producer of eco-friendly textiles to use in all industries where fabric is needed. Developing New York’s local textile industry is a clear home run for our economy and our fight against the climate crisis, and I thank Governor Hochul for her partnership in building a more sustainable future.
Assembly Member Carrie Woerner said: “I am thrilled to see these elements of the Textile Act come to fruition. There is so much potential in the fusion of creativity and technology and the intersection of fiber and fashion. New York has the resources for every aspect of this project, including farmers, innovators, and fashion infrastructure, I salute Governor Hochul’s establishment of the Fashion Innovation Center.
Assembly Member Donna Lupardo said: “We have been working for some time to elevate the potential of New York-grown textiles produced from hemp and animal fibers. There is real excitement about the number of opportunities this industry can provide, as well as a real need to address the many challenges they face. . I would like to thank the Governor and my colleagues for their interest and commitment to this new center. And in particular to Assemblyman Carrie Woerner who is a strong supporter of “the fashionable farm” within our Agriculture Committee of the Assembly.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s primary economic development agency. ESD’s mission is to promote a strong and growing economy, encourage the creation of new jobs and economic opportunities, increase state and municipal revenues, and achieve stable local economies. and diversified. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD works to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and supporting thriving communities in New York State. The ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing regional economic development councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY”, the state’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on regional councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.