Manufacture New York: Making It Cheaper & Easier For Designers To Produce Locally


With 20,000 square feet of space and all the equipment emerging fashion designers need to produce their lines, Manufacture New York will help bring fashion production back to the U.S.

It is probably safe to say that most designers would prefer to produce their pieces close to where they live and work. While the need to keep costs and prices down are often given as a reason why some choose to manufacture overseas, access may be the real issue. The small, dedicated team behind Manufacture New York are trying to change that.


Envisioned as a fashion incubator and factory hybrid, Manufacture New York aims to provide independent designers with the resources and skills they need in order to streamline their production process and transform local manufacturing into the most affordable, innovative option available.


The new facilities, located in Brooklyn’s Industry City offers more than 20,000 square feet of space and will include a fully-equipped sampling room, manufacturing facilities, classroom space, private studios for rent and a state-of-the art computer lab complete with the industry’s latest software for design and production. Some of these spaces will be open to the public, and there will also be a dedicated area for experimentation with environmentally-friendly fabric washes, dyeing, finishes and special textile applications.

To fund this new venture, Manufacture New York is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The funds raised will go towards three necessary components of the organization: location, equipment and, most importantly, new jobs.

“In the last two decades, the United States has lost 80 percent of its apparel manufacturing jobs, and the decline of the Garment District in NYC is a visible sign of these crippling losses,” says Manufacture New York Founder and CEO Bob Bland. “There isn’t enough support available for emerging designers in the fashion industry currently. We need to join together as a community, engage the public and use our collective voice to resurrect apparel manufacturing for a new generation. Demand for affordable, consistent local production is high, and yet we continue to lose jobs to overseas factories that are facing worker unrest and a desire for higher wages themselves.”


Bland is leveraging a decade of practical experience as a designer, for her own label BrooklynRoyalty, as well as brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Triple Five Soul, Rugby by Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Banana Republic. She is joined by a dynamic team of organizers, including Tara St. James, designer of Study NY and 2011 Ecco Domani winner, as well as a growing community of more than 60 apparel and accessory designers.


Help make this a reality by lending your support to the campaign, which runs through March 31st. Awesome perks include eco-conscious, locally-made goods, tickets to the VIP wrap party, goodie bags, a custom-tailored dress or suit, a two-month membership to Manufacture New York, and tickets to a NYFW runway show.

All images courtesy of Manufacture New York

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.