Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that 10 million dollars in State funding will go towards the establishment of New York’s Fashion Innovation Centre (FIC).
With the creation to be led by Empire State Development, the institute is set to promote a collaborative approach to New York State-produced smart and sustainable textiles.
The FIC will cater to various industry needs through the implementation of local crop production for fibre materials, while developing technology aimed at advancing sustainability within both the fashion and textiles industries.
Additionally, the centre will also be home to a Sustainable Fashion Innovation Centre Accelerator, designed to support sustainable alternatives and contribute to solving large scale industry problems.
The New York governor announced the funding during the ongoing New York Fashion Week, which is running from September 7 to September 14.
In a release, she said on the initiative: “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.
“The FIC will foster collaboration across fashion, agriculture and other industries to reduce our environmental footprint, limit waste and create opportunity across New York State.”
A focus on locally-grown raw materials
The project will put a particular emphasis on the region’s agriculture, which currently contributes to the production of raw materials necessary for sustainable textile development, including linen, flax, cotton and hemp.
As part of the FIC’s establishment, Empire State Development will look into selecting a consortium, which will bring together universities, businesses, farmers, fashion industry leaders and non-profits. The location will house early-stage companies that show evidence of “promising” developments in the field and have the potential for commercialisation.
The FIC will further solicit, evaluate and oversee various projects focused on the use of locally-grown crops and material inputs, as well as relevant technology.
Additionally, the programme will provide grant funding to small businesses that offer support in the steps towards the FIC’s goals.