Deconstructing New York’s Fashion Act

Organizations of names like Custom Collaborative and Garment District Alliance, McGuire says there are many “stakeholders here.” [in New York] which could benefit from greater protections “.

Custom Collaborative Executive Director Ngozi Okaro echoes the hope that the Fashion Act, and the industry in general, are more ambitious in envisioning what’s possible. “What are we doing to grow and expand the skills of apparel manufacturers and to keep New York as the fashion capital for innovation?” she says. “I would like to make sure we could do something positive in terms of investing in clothing manufacturers.”

Bédat does not claim that the Fashion Act, or any single piece of legislation, is or could be a panacea. “We need it to be the strongest and most aggressive bill possible that can be passed, and that’s what we’ve put forward here,” he says.

However, the realm of possibilities automatically widens as more people are involved in conceiving them, says McGuire. “What’s feasible expands when you have more prospects and more contributors.”

As the Fashion Act advances, advocates are optimistic about its prospects. Bédat says his inbox has been flooded with interest in the bill, including from other states and jurisdictions that want to consider replicating the bill. Biaggi says it will take a lot of work, but is confident it will pass, and stresses the value of having Stella McCartney on board to “build momentum and as a way to enter a space where we perhaps might not otherwise be welcome”.

Observers will be watching to see who is part of the drafting of the final bill, and a number of organizations are working to draft the suggested amendments, because ultimately who is represented in the trial will determine who the trial is for. “If it is meant to benefit those who were the first and most affected by the climate crisis, in which the fashion industry played an important role, then why the people who were affected were not invited into the room to discuss. on how to create solutions that could be supported by this bill? ” McGuire says.

“I think this is a good starting point,” says Okaro. “I’m glad it’s on the table for 2022 and I hope we can all work together to make this the legislation it needs to be to protect black and brown communities and workers, whether they’re in New York or overseas.”

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