New Yorker Ralph Lauren is giving back to his city, to the tune of $500,000. In support of the Big Apple’s garment industry, the designer has made the donation to the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative. FMI, a project organized by the CFDA, Andrew Rosen and the New York City Development Corp, will help New York factories thrive, to support more locally made fashion.

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Ralph Lauren caused a storm of controversy after it was revealed that the 2012 Olympic uniforms for Team U.S.A. were made in China.

Being a New York native, Lauren holds the city near and dear to his heart. Getting his start in the very same garment district, the designer attributes his success to his experience in the city, and hopes that his generous donation will help other fledgling designers get the opportunities they need for success. The FMI works to keep as much of the fashion process as local as possible, encouraging designers to have their lines made locally instead of turning to overseas manufacturers.

The donation will help support the FMI’s grant program, which gives New York garment factories access to funds to support employees and attract new business.

Aside from the generous donation, the Ralph Lauren company is further involved with the FMI.  Lauren’s senior vice president of global manufacturing and sourcing, Don Baum, will serve on the FMI’s selection committee, along with Prabal Gurung, Marcus Wainwright from Rag & Bone, Andrew Rosen of Theory, Bob Savage of Nanette Lepore, and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb.

+ Fashion Manufacturing Initiative

[Via British Vogue]