Six weeks into his role as New York City Mayor, Eric Adams made his presence known with the fashion crowd on Monday by announcing a plan to create hundreds of sustainable fashion jobs in Brooklyn.
With New York Fashion Week well underway, Adams announced a partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to create new jobs for New Yorkers, broaden Brooklyn’s fashion industry, and to strengthen the city’s economy.
A key piece of that equation is nonprofit Slow Factory becoming the first anchor tenant in the “Made in NY” campus at Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal. The new location will provide an outpost for Slow Factory’s “Open Edu” program, an accessible education series covering climate justice, climate-positive design and other environmentally minded issues. The programming is being melded into Slow Factory Labs, a factory for repurposing materials and encouraging innovation that focuses on its plant-based leather.
Slow Factory’s plans in Sunset Park include other training programs to encourage reuse, thanks largely to the thousands of pounds of discarded clothes, returned goods and textile waste that is delivered to Slow Factory through its brand partners. There are also plans for the Slow Factory Institute, which aims to be the first of a network of climate institutes globally. To help get the community interested and involved, Sunset Park residents will be given free access to all programming and events includes ones geared for children.
The news comes at a time when many U.S.-based companies are reconsidering domestic resources for manufacturing due to sourcing and supply chain issues. Separately, sustainability is increasingly gaining traction with consumers and corporations, many of which are less inclined to use businesses with unsound environmental practices.
The Made in NY garment hub is expected to be complete by the end of this year. It is designed to help increase jobs and further training for apparel manufacturing, fashion design and other sectors of the fashion industry. The garment hub will create 460 fashion jobs and it will provide training to 500 individuals. That is projected to generate an estimated $57 million in direct economic output to New York City. The manufacturing spaces in the garment hub range from 2,000 to 40,000 square feet.
In a statement, Adams said, “New York City was already the fashion capital of the United States, but the redevelopment and creation of new fashion jobs at the Made in NY campus in Brooklyn will only solidify our place as the city of swagger.”
The newly installed mayor understands the importance of image, having once said, “Everything about you must say power.”