Governor Kathy Hochul commended New York’s esteemed fashion industry and its pivotal role in bolstering the state economy at the commencement of New York Fashion Week. The industry remains a crucial source of employment and economic vitality, with approximately 312,000 individuals employed in New York and generating over $24 billion in statewide salaries annually. Furthermore, it spearheads nationwide initiatives for sustainability and environmental conservation. Governor Hochul also revealed recommendations put forth by the Natural Textile Development Workgroup, aimed at enhancing the economic impact of natural fibers and textiles, foundational elements of the fashion sector, on the state’s economy.
In the budget, the Governor has allocated a $5 million investment for hemp and biobased product processing, potentially enhancing the production of fibers suitable for apparel and design purposes.
The suggestions of the Natural Textile Development Workgroup, convened by Empire State Development, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and key stakeholders from the textile industry and related sectors, were unveiled through Governor Hochul’s announcement.
The workgroup aims to research methods to enhance the economic impact of the natural fiber and textile industry in New York State, expand job opportunities within the sector, facilitate private investment in the state’s natural fiber and textile production and processing firms, foster the growth of new enterprises in the natural fiber industry, and raise public awareness about the benefits of natural fiber textiles and sales opportunities both within and beyond New York State.