Eileen Fisher Host Conversation on Apparel Industry and Climate Change

Thanks to Amy Hall & the entire Social Consciousness team at EILEEN FISHER and the American Sustainable Business Council for hosting a terrific event around the apparel industry and ways we can address climate change. Great conversation, we are honored and appreciative to be included along side of companies such as Loomstate, Patagonia, Etsy, ABC Home, Made in NYC, SUNOStudy NY, Carrie Parry, and so many more. Let's keep the momentum going!

Read the official statement from Bob Bland, MNY's CEO, below: 

Amy Hall of Eileen Fisher providing opening remarks

Amy Hall of Eileen Fisher providing opening remarks

EFsummit7.JPG
Ross of Patagonia

Ross of Patagonia

Carrie Parry and Tara St. James speaking with the Pratt Center on approaches to teaching sustainable thinking in a classroom setting

Carrie Parry and Tara St. James speaking with the Pratt Center on approaches to teaching sustainable thinking in a classroom setting

Bob Bland and Amy Hall

Bob Bland and Amy Hall

Juliette Donatelli, Nelis Parts and Patrick Duffy of MNY

Juliette Donatelli, Nelis Parts and Patrick Duffy of MNY

Juliette Donatelli, Bob Bland, Nelis Parts and Patrick Duffy

Juliette Donatelli, Bob Bland, Nelis Parts and Patrick Duffy

MNY CEO, Bob Bland's Official Remarks:

Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced when we shorten the global fashion supply chain to a more manageable local scale.

My name is Bob Bland, and I am the CEO and founder of Manufacture New York. On behalf of my entire team, I want to thank Amy Hall, The American Sustainable Business Council and the entire Social Consciousness division of Eileen Fisher for giving us the opportunity to have this conversation. 

The fashion industry is at an incredible tipping point in 2013, with designers and manufacturers at all levels acknowledging and adopting socially responsible and sustainable business practices. 

We are watching this happen in real time with the 20+ emerging and independent designers working out of MNY's new Garment Center Pilot Program in Midtown, and one of our goals is to serve as an inclusive hub for conversations like this, starting with tackling current consumption models at the Textile Waste Summit on October 19th

If there are three things I would like the fashion community to take away from my remarks, it would be:

1. This is the time, place and group of industry professionals, social change makers and manufacturers to make ecological sustainability in fashion a reality. There will never be a better time than right now, and every day is an opportunity for us to individually and collectively inspire consciousness in our communities.

2. The global problems that we face are enormous, and it is easy to doubt that real, measurable change is achievable. Fear in the face of great social, economic and ecological change is easy to understand.  We must acknowledge our doubts, and use them as stepping stones towards strategic problem solving.

3. No problem is too big for us to tackle together, but we MUST combine our efforts and work collaboratively to share resources across all levels of the industry for maximum impact. 

Make it local.  Make it last. Support those making a difference.

That’s the short version of how MNY is re-envisioning the fashion sector’s long supply chain.

It’s part of our approach to sustainability broadly, and it’s one way we’re addressing the challenge of climate change.

Since Manufacture New York’s inception, our core vision has been one of social responsibility & sustainable business practices. Not solely environmental sustainability, but equally economic and cultural sustainability, which are too often left out of the conversation concerning social change through sustainable, responsible product development + sales.

Manufacture NY is a co-working and co-production facility for local designers, dedicated to bringing domestic manufacturing back to our shores and training the next generation of apparel designers, manufacturers and skilled workers such as pattern makers.

If now isn’t the time to create new business models when is?

At MNY we are bringing a level of transparency and education to consumers and designers alike through a unified vision of building a new fashion system: One that is based on collaboration and inclusivity.

Within the NYC fashion sector, we keep the supply chain small - our Garment Center Pilot Program is already increasing business to high quality manufacturers in the Garment Center and supporting local economic development.

With the 2014 opening of our 160,000 sq ft flagship incubator + manufacturing center in Brooklyn's Sunset Park, we will create over 280 well paid jobs in the manufacturing sector and have an economic impact of over $60 million dollars in NYC for our 1st year alone.

Environmental sustainability principles and practices are embedded in MNY’s approach to supporting the financial sustainability of NYC designers, and the fashion sector broadly. We are currently creating a sustainable textile library and a domestically milled textile library and have created a Responsible Manifesto for our designers that includes commitments to making and sourcing using sustainability as a lens. We are also developing guidelines for basic green business practices (i.e. eco-efficiency, pollution prevention and waste minimization) for all Sunset Park operations. These guidelines will serve both as operating principles and performance goals for MNY – and all occupants at the Sunset Park facility.

Prioritizing sustainable business practices in our operations, curriculum and job training programs, will complement the comparative efficiencies we can achieve through the provision of consolidated operating space and production infrastructure, a collaborative workspace model, and shorter transport distances for significant portions of the supply and distribution chains. . The energy efficient MNY Sunset Park facility will help reduce energy and materials consumption, decrease materials waste and shorten transport distances, - and thereby reduce greenhouse emissions.

In total, these strategies contribute to a more sustainable fashion sector in NYC and play a positive role in addressing the climate change challenge.