As anyone who watches any number of reality television can attest, the fashion industry is a big, booming business. What has come to surprise some locally is that it’s beginning to be big business right here in Michigan.
Fashion-related businesses have been cropping up in Michigan for some time, but until recently, many of them didn’t even know about each other. Recognizing this pattern, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
approached East Lansing’s Prima Civitas earlier this year to see if the non-profit could assist in the development of the industry.
“It’s moving very quickly,” says Eleanor Fuchs, Program Manager and Fund Development Coordinator for Prima Civitas
. “Much more quickly that anyone had anticipated. When we first took this on we thought there would be some serious gaps in the industry, but a lot of it is already here.”
Prima Civitas and MEDC have brought together garment industry partners such as Michigan State Industries, Peckham Inc., Focus Hope, Northwood University, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, TD Industrial Coverings, the Detroit Fashion Collective, Michigan Fashion Proto, Creative Energy Group, the National Sewing Council and numerous designers to form a council informally known as the Michigan Garment Industry Council.
As the council continues to develop, Prima Civitas hopes to see even more partners come on board, and the number of connections and new businesses opportunities generated by the group increase even more.
“These wins are adding up very quickly,” says Fuchs. “The passion that is behind this effort from all parties at the table is just infectious.”