(Photo courtesy of Manufacture New York)
Manufacture New York always meant to operate in Brooklyn, according to Dr. Amanda Parkes, the incubator’s chief of technology and research. The space aims to reinvent the supply chain for apparel, in part by moving some of those operations to Brooklyn and in part by experimenting with every new technology it can. We spoke to Parkes via phone after meeting at Dark Matter Manufacturing’s “Internodal 3” event.
The organization has been working from Manhattan’s Garment District for a while, but as of Oct. 1 it relocated to the 7th floor of Liberty View Industrial Park in Sunset Park, a giant building just north of Industry City.
By December, Parkes hopes to have incubator clients inside the building. “We just want more design life in the space,” she said.
By March, Parkes hopes to get the first phase of manufacturing equipment inside.
Manufacture NY also recently secured some operating funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration. It won a $50,000 grant in the first award from the Growth Accelerator Fund. It was the only award in New York City. In a piece about the organization’s longterm vision in Fast Company, the CEO, Bob Bland, described this as the “beginning of an ongoing financial relationship” with the SBA.
Bland started as a designer in Philadelphia before moving her label, Brooklyn Royalty, here, only to pivot again into bringing manufacturing and design closer together.
As we previously reported, this will not only be a tech facility but a place to experiment with how technology can be incorporated into fashion fashionably.
Parkes gave us a bit more information on this when we spoke. One of the first systems the incubator will look to get in-house is the East Coast’s first and only AM4U facility — a non-toxic, zero inventory production system that claims to be able to double profits for garment makers.
Parkes said she and her team are also working with a research-phase company developing a non-toxic nanotech coating that can make any fabric stain proof without altering its feel.
Manufacture New York is approximately a ten-person team, working largely in startup mode while it works to get funding in place, Parkes explained.