DATA

THE PROS:

The brand has publicly shared commitments in their Vision 2020, that work towards further improving the social and environmental impact of their supply chain.

Since 2009, Eileen Fisher has been collecting and recycling previously worn Eileen Fisher garments as part of an initiative called Green Eileen. To date more than 600,000 garments have been collected, and 200,000 sold to support women, girls and the environment. The brand also offers free repair on all Eileen Fisher garments.

The brand has interviewed a factory owner, farmer, a spinner, a fabric designer and the president of a leather bag and belt manufacturer from its supply chain. Eileen Fisher also shares other stories about suppliers in its supply chain.

Eileen Fisher joined the B Corp community in December 2015, making it the largest women’s apparel company to make the cut, and also the largest B Corp certified company in the State of New York.

THE CONS:

The brand cannot trace its entire supply chain, however the brand says that it is working towards achieving full traceability.

Eileen Fisher does not share a complete list of supplier names and addresses.

We don’t have any information on how Eileen Fisher is implementing a living wage in the brand’s supply chain.

/ Eileen Fisher has more than 60 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

/ The brand has 1,100 employees.

/ Eileen Fisher designs its clothes to last. The brand also does free repairs on all its garments.

/ Eileen Fisher has 31 first tier manufacturing partners.

/ The brand joined the B Corp community in December 2015, making it the largest women’s apparel company to make the cut, and also the largest B Corp certified company in the State of New York. The brand scored 82 out of a possible 200. The median score is 55.

/ Eileen Fisher does not share a complete list of supplier countries and the brand does not share a list of supplier names and addresses.

/ Eileen Fisher cannot trace its full supply chain however the brand says that it is working towards achieving full traceability.

/ The brand has interviewed a factory owner, farmer, a spinner, a fabric designer and the president of a leather bag and belt manufacturer from its supply chain. Eileen Fisher also shares other stories about suppliers in its supply chain.

/ The brand educates its customers on human rights in supply chains, artisanal products and methods, impacts of organic cotton and linen, sustainable fibers as well as a variety of other topics.

 

 

 

/ The brand is committed to two human rights standards, Social Accountability International’s SA8000, a tool for assessing factories, and the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Base Code, to ensure fair conditions for the workers in its supply chain.

/ There is a section in the ETI Base Code that addresses the payment of a living wage, but it is unclear if Eileen Fisher is implementing a living wage in its supply chain.

/ Eileen Fisher makes approximately 20% of its products in the USA. In Los Angeles they work with two factories to produce jeans and sweaters. In New York they partner with five factories.

/ Eileen Fisher is partnering with Good World Solutions and Social Accountability International and exploring ways to give workers a voice through cell phone surveys.

/ In India, the brand launched The Handloom Project, a six-year investment program designed to empower weavers in rural communities.

/ Since 2005, Eileen Fisher has been working with a fair trade supply chain partner in Peru, Indigenous Designs, to produce organic cotton handloomed sweaters.

 

/ By 2020, Eileen Fisher hope to complete a shift to 100% organic cotton and linen, use wool sourced from sheep that are humanely raised on land that is sustainably managed and switch from rayon to tencel.

/ In April 2016, Quartz reported on the brands progress towards its 2020 goal to use 100% organic fibres. It reported that 92% of Eileen Fisher’s cotton is organic, as is 83% of its linen.

/ Eileen Fisher sells recycled cashmere knitwear which is spun in Italy from factory scraps, and meets the Global Recycle Standard for recycled fibre.

/ In Fall 2015 collection, Eileen Fisher introduced its first chlorine-free wool.

/ Currently 13% of the brand’s product is bluesign certified. By 2020, Eileen Fisher is aiming for 30% of its product to be bluesign certified.

/ The brand deliberately created a local supply chain in Peru in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, manufacturing close to sources for organic cotton and alpaca. The cotton is local and organic, dyes meet the Global Organic Textile Standard and workers are paid higher fair trade wages.

/ At the brand’s distribution centre in New Jersey, solar panels installed on the roof produce 60% of the warehouse’s electricity needs.

/ Since 2009, Eileen Fisher has been collecting and recycling previously worn Eileen Fisher garments as part of an initiative called Green Eileen. To date more than 600,000 garments have been collected, and 200,000 sold to support women, girls and the environment. The brand also offers free repair on all Eileen Fisher garments.

 

/ By 2020:

  • Eileen Fisher hopes to complete a shift to 100% organic cotton and linen, use wool sourced from sheep that are humanely raised on land that is sustainably managed and switch from rayon to tencel.
  • Eileen Fisher is aiming for 30% of its product to be bluesign certified. The brand is going to reach out to other brands and collaborate to create demand for responsible dyes.
  • Eileen Fisher states that their US operations will be be carbon positive. They are aiming to reduce fabric waste, water use and carbon emissions.
  • Eileen Fisher wants to have collected 1 million garments to resell and recycle.

/ Since 2014, Eileen Fisher has been endeavoring to map their entire supply chain. Later this year, the brand states that they will begin sharing progress on their website.

/ The brand joined the B Corp community in February 2016, making it the largest women’s apparel company to make the cut, and also the largest B Corp certified company in the State of New York.

 

/ Through small grants and donations, Eileen Fisher supports nonprofit organizations in the brand’s local communities that work in areas of human rights and the environment. For a full list of organizations click here.

/ The brand launched the Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program in 2004. Eileen Fisher awards $100,000 in grants for up to 10 grant recipients on an annual basis.

/ Eileen Fisher is a founding member of In Good Company and has been joining with like-minded companies to work on community service projects.

/ Since May 2011, the brand has been supporting Climate Ride by sending five employees on the ride.

/ If a customer uses a reusable bag when they shop at Eileen Fisher, the brand donates $1 to an environmental group.

/ Eileen Fisher’s Director of Social Consciousness, Amy Hall, chairs the SAI Advisory Board, which she first joined in 2001.

/ In May 2015, Forbes reported that Eileen Fisher owned 65% of the company and her employees owned the other 35% through an employee stock ownership program.

/ In May 2015, Forbes estimated that Eileen Fisher was worth $210 million.

/ There are no reported scandals or issues.

/ Eileen Fisher is partnering with Good World Solutions and Social Accountability International and exploring ways to give workers a voice through cell phone surveys. Currently they are participating in the Labor Link project in India.

/ Eileen Fisher’s partnership with CFDA has enabled 3 design graduates to spend a year working with the brand on prototyping commercially viable ways to make new designs from the damaged clothes in its Green Eileen recycling program, working towards a circular economy. Eileen Fisher Remade in the USA launched in August 2016.

/ In November 2015, New York Times reported that Eileen Fisher had partnered with the University of New South Wales in Australia, the University of California and Northwestern University to form The Benign by Design program, pioneering tests to investigate whether washing apparel with filters can control emissions of toxic fibers.

/ To understand the homeworker community in West Bengal, India, Eileen Fisher commissioned ASK- Verité to conduct a study using ETI Base Code as a guideline. Based on the results, the brand plans to start a holistic community development project focusing on five areas: social and economic empowerment, occupational health and women’s health, children’s education, safe drinking water and wastewater management, and design innovation.

/ Eileen Fisher has invested in the Addis Ababa knitters. The knitters are survivors of obstetric fistula, a physically and emotionally debilitating injury caused by long, obstructed labor.

VOICES

SASS BROWN | ECOSALON

“Eileen Fisher is not siloing sustainability in a CSR department. It’s a conversation across the entirety of the company, the entirety of the supply chain.” – 6/16/2015

 

 

EILEEN FISHER, FOUNDER | TAKE PART | 05/29/2015

“I have always thought of the company as being about more than the clothes. Creating meaningful impact in the world is at the heart of it. Business has the power to make a difference and can be a movement around social change. Our work with women and girls, human rights, and the environment and how we work as a company completes the circle—it’s about the product, people, and planet and the choices each of us makes every single day.”

EILEEN FISHER, FOUNDER | BUSINESS AS A MOVEMENT | 2016

We don’t want sustainability to be our edge. We want it to be universal.”

EILEEN FISHER, FOUNDER | REMADE | 2016

My vision is for a closed-loop company that designs into sustainability from the very beginning all the way through to our recycling program—and now, our upcycling program.”