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DEVELOPING A SMARTER GARMENT CENTER: Stimulating local manufacturing and economic development in New York City's Garment District
 

Summary: DEVELOPING A SMARTER GARMENT CENTER:
Stimulating local manufacturing and economic development in New York City's Garment District
HOST: Tasha Lewis
February 21, 2012
Urban garment manufacturing is being reborn. Its growth is being driven by a variety of factors, from
very deep and global forces such as rising energy, transportation, materials and waste disposal costs, to
cultural shifts including growing consumer preferences for distinctive environmentally responsible,
locally-produced products, to the emergence of a class of artistic entrepreneurs who want to blend their
artistic passions with actual production and turn their art into a business and lifestyle. This new class of
micro-manufacturers thrives in cities, like New York City, particularly within the fashion and design
sectors.
In fact, the fashion industry has remained an economic engine for New York City, contributing $10BN
annually to the local economy. Currently ~165,000 jobs are provided in NYC's garment manufacturing
sector with around 99,000 of those jobs on the production side. Fashion manufacturing currently
represents 31% of all manufacturing within the city. And beyond jobs and revenue, the industry's
presence is inseparable from NYC's cultural identity, exerting a powerful influence on film, media, print,
web and education.
Over the past decades, however, city planning departments have rezoned areas that threaten local
manufacturing. In New York, more than 20MN square feet of industrial space over the past eight years
has been turned into luxury housing and waterfront amenities. This act of rezoning in addition to the

  

Source: Angenent, Lars T. - Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University

 

Collections: Renewable Energy; Engineering