EDITOR'S UPDATE: Since this post was originally published there's been more news from New York City's garment district.
September 2013: New funds will help renovate NYC garment factories.
September 2013: Only 3% of the clothes that are sold in the U.S. are made in the NYC garment district.
October 2013: Ralph Lauren will make #MadeinUSA Olympic uniforms with the help of NYC.
For more American made fashion, visit our Fashion Friday blog.
Let's say you're a clothing designer in New York City looking to manufacture a new line of clothes or accessories. Where do you go to have your product made? Michigan? North Carolina? China?
How about right next door?
It turns out that many of the world's most cutting-edge clothes makers are located on the west side of midtown Manhattan.
Many of these top-of-the-line firms were on display today at the 1st Annual "City Source" Local Supplier Showcase, sponsored by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Garment Industry Development Corporation.
50 locally based factories and suppliers showcased their work, including pleaters, embroiderers, and printers. Much of the technology utilized by these firms is state-of-the-art. Stanley Pleating and Stitching Company proudly displays its laser cutting technology, all done with Made-in-USA equipment.
New York's garment district has struggled in recent years. At its peak in the 1970's, it employed roughly 200,000 workers. Today, that number has dropped to roughly 20,000.
New York's fashion industry is fighting back, though, with the Save the Garment Center (STGC) movement, a trade association devoted to promoting New York’s Garment District and the fashion companies and brands that work there. STGC reports that there are still 846 fashion companies headquartered in New York City-- more than in London, Paris, and Milan combined. New York City is the Fashion Capital of the World, and the Garment Center continues to make that possible:
STGC promotes fashion companies and brands who design and produce quality clothing in the Garment District and in New York City. There are 24,000 apparel manufacturing jobs in New York City that make this domestic clothing production possible, and STGC creates transparent access to all of these resources for the future designers of America. These resources enable new fashion entrepreneurs to start a business and a fashion line leading to the creation of American jobs. Whether you are an established or emerging designer, a consumer, a fashion junkie, or simply a concerned American citizen, we ask you to join us in supporting New York’s Garment Center.