Manufacturing Rises From The Ashes In New York And San Francisco

Manufacturing Rises From The Ashes In New York And San Francisco

The New York Times tells the tale of how a monolithic manufacturing industry has been supplanted by more nimble initiatives.

Dan Gould
  • 1 april 2011

SFMade and Made in N.Y.C are two organisations that paint an alternative picture of the US manufacturing industry – one very different then the “ruin – porn” aesthetic sweeping Internet depections of fallen manufacturing metropolises. Both organisations provide stories and examples of how manufacturing has evolved to new models, ones more nimble than the monolithic single-industry model which preceded them:

“Manufacturers now see the benefits of being smaller and paying attention to how patterns of consumption, ownership and use are shifting.”

SFMade is a non-profit corporation, focused on building San Francisco’s economic base by developing the local manufacturing sector. They took the decision to be a non-profit as they maintained that trade organizations often serve more of a business development function rather than address the needs of the local manufacturing community.

The organization helps companies assess a product’s “manufacturability.” They then help companies either connect to existing contract manufacturing resources in the city or establish their own production capacity. Instead of assuming that things like sewing, printing and assembly need to happen overseas, SFMade is working to reconnect local production capacity to big companies.

Made in N.Y.C is of a similar ilk as SFMade, though it is less grassroots in it’s origins.

“Nevertheless both are devoted to new ways of thinking about old practices and processes. Growing consumer demand for greener, more ethically produced products, along with skyrocketing unemployment and nervousness about globalization all work in the groups’ favor”

Both institutions share a common opinion: consumers are much more likely to back the local guy. This is part of a general trend towards consumers ‘pride of place’ brand loyalty, which is great news for the new breed of manufacturers. SFMade founder Mark Dwight labels this ‘geographic ingredient branding’, which aims to tap into the

“pride of place,” which runs deep in cities like San Francisco and New York. Things made in places like San Francisco or New York command a desire-by-association. There may be a higher cost of doing business in major metropolitan centers like these, but at the same time what gets made is largely driven by design and by consumer demand.”

Made in N.Y.C


New York Times: “The Future of Manufacturing Is Local”


Why The Apple Watch Is Taking Foot In The Restaurant Industry

Food Today

Chef Turns Invasive Species Into Delicious Sushi

Creator Bun Lai is adapting strange new ingredients for his menu, which responds to the ecological impact of overabundant creatures in the local environment

Travel Today

Build Your Own Subway System In This Minimalist Game

Mini Metro lets you design your own fully functional transit network, simulating the flow of urban commuters with pared-down visuals


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Work Today

Keyboard Designed To Help Women Use More Assertive Language

The device is a commentary on gender roles in the workplace, and features easy access to "power verbs" that help reinforce a habit of being direct in writing

Arts & Culture Today

Spanish Artist Dreams Up What Animals Would Look Like In Modern Clothing

Yago Partal's portraits depict the fantasized style preferences of creatures worldwide, from an Arctic wolf to a zebra

Related Expert

Peter Semmelhack

Internet of Things, Mobile, Data

Fitness & Sport Today

New Data Technologies Make Hyper-Personalized Training A Reality

The Sports Debrief from PSFK Labs looks at how analytics tools are being developed to optimize human performance across all industries

Technology Today

IBM Watson Helps Grammy-Winning Producer Craft An EP

The computer system's data technology generated musical scores for Alex Da Kid's first solo project

Travel Yesterday

30-Year-Old Photographs Used As Travel Guides

A new photo series revolves around tracing the origins of images from the past


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 26, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Children Yesterday

IKEA Is Letting Kids Design Its New Line Of Toys

The products are taken from fanciful drawings that showcase the imagination of those who use it most

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Health Yesterday

VR App Prescribed For Pain Relief

A pharmacy chain in Sweden is stepping away from tradition to develop a happy place for the pain-afflicted

Retail Yesterday

Banks Are Coming Together To Create A New Payment Network That Rivals Venmo

A number of financial institutions are collaborating to make a new person-to-person monetary system called Zelle for their customers

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Pocket Camera Aims To Facilitate The Struggles Of Live Streams

The Mevo helps resolve the complexities of streaming video with an intuitive setup and smart editing controls

Health Yesterday

Startup Believes Traceability Will Help Disrupt The Multivitamin Industry

Ritual is a daily supplement for women that traces every ingredient back to its source

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Photo Series Brutally Murders Some Of Your Favorite Fast Food

The portraits by artist duo Ilka & Franz do away with mealtime regulars in a way that is both beautiful and humorous

Mobile Yesterday

Coffeemaker Teaches You How To Make The Perfect Cup

The device comes with an accompanying app that guides novices and experts alike through the brewing process

No search results found.