Last week we had the pleasure of participating in the Greater Washington D.C. Fashion Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 State of Style Advocacy Day on the Hill. The purpose of this annual event is for leaders in the fashion and creative economy community to come together to raise awareness and advocate issues the affect the fashion and apparel industry on Capitol Hill.
In 1973, there were more than 2.4 million textile and apparel workers employed in the United States; by 1996, that figure had dropped by 40% and has intensified in the last decade.
Jennifer Fisher, Director of Advocacy, GWFCC
Our President and Co-Founder of the Seattle Fashion Incubator, Steven Paul Matsumoto, was invited to participate in a panel discussion held at the Rayburn House Office Building. The panel discussed President Obama’s small business agenda, and significant pieces of legislation currently in committee, and the importance of business incubators to the creative economy.
The distinguished panel of industry leaders moderated by Lauren Rothman, Huffington Post Style Contributing Editor also included:
- Janet E. Heinzen, Director Office of Textiles and Apparel, US Department of Commerce
- James V. Hunter, Legislative Aide, Representative David Price (D – NC)
- Jacqueline B. West, Field Operations Specialist, Office of Field Operations, Small Business Administration
- Adriana Pavon, Co-Founder of the Detroit Fashion Collective
The panel urged attendees to voice their support for H.R. 2275 American Textile Technology Innovation and Research for Exportation (ATTIRE) Act, and H.R. 1418/S.509 Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011. In addition to discussing how Fashion Incubators from across the country are assisting small businesses in their markets, and the formation of a National Coalition of Fashion Incubators. There are currently 13 identified incubators which have expressed interest in coalition membership. We’ll forego any historical references to the original colonies.
We would like to personally thank Mr. Alan Lee, and Representative Jim McDermott’s (D – WA) office for taking time to meet with both Mr. Matsumoto, and Mr. Daniel Arthur Done regarding these important jobs creation issues. Please click the links above and let your legislators know that you support the passage of the above bills. With your help we can revitalize the industry, and create ‘Made in the USA’ jobs.