City Life Org – $24B Impact of New York’s Fashion Industry

New York’s Fashion Industry Employs Approximately 312,000 New Yorkers and Generates MoreThan $24 Billion in Wages Each Year

Governor’s FY 2025 Executive Budget Includes $5 Million Investment to Increase Production of Fibers That Can Be Used in Fashion and Design

Governor Releases Recommendations of Natural Textile Development Workgroup Tasked With Increasing the Role of Natural Fibers and Textiles in New York State Economy

Sixteen New Textile and Natural Fiber Producers Join NYS Grown & Certified Program to Promote Higher Standards for Environmental Stewardship

Governor Previously Awarded $10 Million to New York’s Fashion Innovation Center to Support the Sustainable Development of New York State Textiles for Wearable Technologies and Fashion Industry

Governor Kathy Hochul celebrated New York’s world-renowned fashion industry and its role in driving the State economy as part of the kick-off for New York Fashion Week. The industry, which employs approximately 312,000 New Yorkers and generates more than $24 billion in statewide wages each year, continues to be a major employer and economic driver for the State and advances nation-leading commitments to sustainability and environmental stewardship. Governor Hochul also announced the recommendations of the Natural Textile Development Workgroup tasked with increasing the role of natural fibers and textiles – the building blocks of the fashion industry – in the State’s economy.

“New York’s economy is built on our world-renowned fashion industry and the designers, farmers, manufacturers and other professionals who keep the industry moving,” Governor Hochul said. “This Fashion Week, I am doubling down on my commitment to supporting fashion in New York and ensuring that the industry, which generates more than $24 billion in wages for hardworking New Yorkers, continues to move our economy forward.”

Investments in FY 2025 Executive Budget

Governor Hochul’s Executive Budget continues her commitment to supporting the fashion industry. As part of the budget, the Governor has proposed a $5 million investment for hemp and biobased product processing, which can increase more fiber production that could be utilized in fashion and design.

Recommendations of the Natural Textile Development Workgroup

Governor Hochul announced the recommendations of the Natural Textile Development Workgroup, convened in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Empire State Development and comprised of stakeholders in different areas of the textile industry and other related sectors. The workgroup is tasked with studying and identifying ways to increase the natural fiber and textile industry’s contribution to the New York State economy; increasing the number of jobs within the textile industry; identifying ways to support and increase private investment in New York State enterprises that produce and process natural fiber and textiles; encouraging the development of new businesses within and supporting the natural textile industry; and improving public knowledge of, and appreciation for, the benefits of natural fiber textiles and sales opportunities within, and outside of, New York State.

The workgroup’s recommendations include:

  • Supporting grant opportunities for projects to expand existing or establish new fiber processing facilities and supply chain needs in the State;
  • Working alongside Empire State Development to highlight existing incentives and support that would assist in recruiting new or expanding natural fiber businesses in New York State;
  • Supporting development of a mentorship program with more experienced fiber farmers matched up with new and beginning fiber farmers to ensure a transfer of knowledge within the industry;
  • Developing educational curriculum and classroom resources for school-aged children on natural fibers and textiles;
  • Better connecting textile designers and farmers to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) apprenticeship programs; and
  • Exploring a licensing strategy for the I Love NY logo to create I Love NY natural fiber textile products created in New York State.

The workgroup’s full report is available here.

The NYS Grown & Certified Program

Sixteen new textile and natural fiber producers have joined the NYS Grown & Certified Program, which was launched to help meet the growing consumer demand for local foods grown or produced to a higher standard. The program certifies New York State producers who adhere to high food safety and environmental stewardship standards. It is supported by a marketing campaign including on-product labels, promotional materials and sales materials. Currently, more than 3,000 producers are participating in New York State Grown & Certified, representing more than 750,000 acres of farmland. For more information on NYS Grown & Certified, visit certified.ny.gov, or follow the program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

New York’s Fashion Innovation Center

In 2022, Governor Hochul announced $10 million in State funding for the Fashion Innovation Center to promote a collaborative approach to utilizing New York State-produced smart and sustainable textiles. The FIC also includes a Sustainable Fashion Innovation Center Accelerator, focused on the creation of smart and sustainable alternatives that solve large scale industry problems, create green jobs, promote state-sourced textiles and support sustainable fashion.

Last year, the Governor announced that a Capitol Region-based consortium including the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Hudson Valley Textile Project, Field to Fiber, SUNY Morrisville and Made X Hudson had been selected to manage the FIC.

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