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Governor Hochul Announces $10 Million in Funding for Fashion Innovation Center During New York Fashion Week

Center Will Support the Sustainable Development of New York State Textiles for Wearable Technologies and Fashion Industry Use

Will Establish a Physical Center To Connect Upstate Agriculture and Downstate Fashion Industries Focused on a More Sustainable Future

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $10 million in State funding for the Fashion Innovation Center, which will promote a collaborative approach to utilizing New York State-produced smart and sustainable textiles. Empire State Development will spearhead the creation of a consortium-led FIC, which will utilize expertise from New York State universities, farms, fashion industry leaders, and non-profit organizations. The FIC will focus on addressing fashion industry needs, utilizing New York State-produced crops for fiber materials, and cultivating technology that advances sustainability and innovation through wearable technologies in the fashion and textile industries. The FIC will also include a Sustainable Fashion Innovation Center Accelerator, focused on the creation of smart and sustainable alternatives that solve large scale industry problems, create green jobs, promote state-sourced textiles, and support sustainable fashion.

Governor Hochul announced the new FIC during New York Fashion Week, which lasts from September 7 through September 14. In recognition of the industry-wide event, the Governor attended the Coach fashion show in New York City.

"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," Governor 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."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "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, both vital to the future of our State. The new Fashion Innovation Center will make New York State a leader in promoting locally produced sustainable fibers, grow jobs, and help achieve Governor Hochul's nation-leading climate goals."

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Locally produced textiles, and the farmers that make them, are an important part of New York agriculture. We're excited that the Fashion Innovation Center's promotion of New York State farmers and manufacturers producing fiber and textiles supports our State economy and local communities while focusing on environmental sustainability - a win-win-win for all."

Read the full press release here.