The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator (BF + DA) is a hub for ethical fashion and design that provides designers with the resources they need to transform their ideas into successful businesses. I went on a tour of their space and I recommend that you go too!!!
The BF + DA hosts a number of learning events and tours of their space each month for anyone interested in learning more about the BF + DA and/or projects they are working on. Also, once each month, the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator invites a sustainable textile vendor to come present their materials and processes.
If you do go on a tour, you'll see the BF + DA's Production Lab, Sustainable Strategies Lab, Technology Lab, sneak a peek at the talented Fellows working at the BF+DA, and check out the amazing views from their event space. Tours are held every other Thursday.
Are you interested in producing clothing or any type of textile in NYC? The BF + DA is particularly interested in supporting emerging designers that are aligned with their values. The BF + DA believes strongly that if the micro-businesses do not succeed, there's a big opportunity cost in losing great talent. The BF + DA wants to nurture that talent, keeping in line with their values of local, sustainability and new technologies.
The BF+DA is committed to providing small scale production services that bridge the gap to scale faced by emerging companies. The Production Lab (p.LAB) provides NYC designers with the resources they need to go from idea to prototype to production to market. The p.LAB is a sample development studio and small-run apparel manufacturing facility, equipped with the latest technology in garment production. They specialize in small-scale production with no minimum requirements in both cut-and-sew and knitwear.
It is possible to rent communal work or studio space at BF + DA. They offer shared work spaces, dedicated desks, shared studios and even a few dedicated studios. Their space is surprisingly convenient. I walked over from my regular work space in East Williamsburg.
Are you an entrepreneur looking for mentorship? BF + DA has an amazing Venture Fellows Program. Grow your business responsibly in a supportive community of design entrepreneurs in fashion, accessories, product, home, and tech. Benefits include a structured mentorship program that includes one-on-one advisement on finance, brand, sales, marketing, and sustainable strategies, curated events for knowledge sharing and social networking, and a light-filled studio at the BF+DA. BF + DA believes design entrepreneurs are key to a prosperous, collective future. Learn more about the Venture Fellows Program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Their next review round closes on August 7th, 2017. APPLY NOW!
The BF+DA is redefining the apparel industry by integrating sustainable best practices into design businesses. The Sustainability Lab (s.LAB) is BF + DA’s on-site sustainability resource center. BF + DA offers consulting services in the Sustainability Lab (s.LAB) for one-on-one guidance for sustainable sourcing, supply chains, and production even if you don’t produce in the p.LAB. The s.LAB consultants create tools to optimize the complete life cycle of their clients’ designs in order to reduce human health impacts, ecological impacts, resource use, and incorporate ethical production methods.
For those unable to take advantage of one-on-one consulting, the s.LAB has developed the Sustainable Fashion Roadmap (SFR): an online, interactive tool that allows you to explore their in-depth research and life-cycle-thinking guides at your own pace.
Additionally, the s.LAB has an extensive, physical library of sustainable textiles with information about the impacts of different fiber types and a wealth of strategies to make your supply chain more transparent. These in-person resources are available to the public. They have an online tool for which you have to be a member to use.
The BF+DA Academic Fellows are researchers working to push the boundaries of what fashion and production in the 21st century will be and are experimenting with new materials, processes, and ethical practices. This week they put on an exhibition of Tek-tiles, innovations in textiles showcasing items such as a temperature adjusting sweater, touch sensitive glove, person identifying fabric, stroke switch fabric, volume adjustment via zipper, knitted speaker, origami fabric and more using thermochromatic yarn, light seeds, and conductive yarn.
If sustainability and design interest you at all, attend one of BF + DA’s events, sign up for a scheduled tour, or apply to their Venture Fellow, mentorship program or simply read their blog to get started!
Content and Images Courtesy of BF + DA