New York is investing in the future of fashion

New York is investing in the future of fashion.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that the state would allocate $10 million in funding for a consortium-led Fashion Innovation Center in an effort to promote sustainable textile development from materials grown in the state, including linen, flax, cotton and hemp.

“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 more sustainable,” Hochul said. “The Fashion Innovation Center will foster collaboration across fashion, agriculture, and other industries to to reduce our environmental footprint, limit waste and create opportunity across New York State.”

The center will also house a Sustainable Fashion Innovation Center Accelerator for early-stage companies working on promising developments in the field.

According to the governor’s office, the fashion industry produces 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions globally each year, more than the aviation and maritime shipping industries combined.

“Agriculture is an important part of New York state’s economy, and as the fashion industry moves to a more sustainable future, we must capitalize on the opportunity to connect the agriculture and fashion industries,” said Hope Knight, head of the Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency.

The EDS is currently searching for consortium members for the Fashion Innovation Center. Members will include experts from universities, farms, the fashion industry and nonprofit organizations.

Hochul’s announcement came on the sixth day of New York Fashion Week, which started Sept. 7 and ends today. The governor attended the Coach fashion show, held in the Basketball City venue on the Lower East Side.

Fashion is a $98 billion industry in New York City, according to a report published in September 2021 by New York Fashion Week co-organizer IMG and Launchmetrics, a brand performance insights firm. Employing more than 6% of the city’s workforce, the industry also generates nearly $11 billion in wages and $2 billion in tax revenue for the state.