The Lifecycle of EILEEN FISHER

Goodlifer: The Lifecycle of EILEEN FISHER

When EILEEN FISHER started following me on Twitter about a year ago, I had no idea that I would one day be co-producing a fashion show for them in New York City. Like many relationships we develop via social media, there is a courting process that over the course of time, enables us to see if in fact the new “friend” is one we want to forge forward with.

EILEEN FISHER's Ampersand Collection

The Ampersand collection reflects EILEEN FISHER’s broader mission to protect planet, people, and preserve traditional crafts and cultures.

EILEEN FISHER, the brand and the people, were a good example of social media done right and of good, authentic storytellers that captured my attention.

This past weekend in Manhattan at Green Festival, my fashion show co-producer, Casey Jones, the Social Media Specialist for EILEEN FISHER and I worked to tell that story and of how women of varied ages and body types can make a sustainable, mainstream brand their own.

Fashion writer and photographer Amanda Coen on stage at the EILEEN FISHER fashion show during Earth Day Weekend in NYC

Fashion writer and photographer Amanda Coen on stage at the EILEEN FISHER fashion show during Green Festival in NYC

Working with 8 sustainable fashion influencers who put together their own outfits for the Green Festival fashion show, we let each woman pick from the company’s Ampersand collection where all clothes with an “&” reflect the company’s broader mission to protect planet, people, and preserve traditional crafts and cultures.

The base for the campaign? EILEEN FISHER wanted her clothes back.

Sustainable fashion influencers modeling tanks from EILEEN FISHER's #thxverymuch campaign

Sustainable fashion influencers modeling tanks from EILEEN FISHER’s #thxverymuch campaign

Launching a Green Eileen store in Yonkers over a year ago and a second location on April 19th in Seattle, the company has taken a route less traveled by many large brands and taken their sustainability initiatives a step further, showcasing the lifecycle of their very own garments. Buy the clothes and when you’re done, bring them back and help make money to empower women?

A sweet deal for sure.

Kristen Arnett, makeup artist and founder of Green Beauty Team puts the finishing touches on models

Kristen Arnett, makeup artist and founder of Green Beauty Team puts the finishing touches on models

It’s true, one of the more interesting parts of this recycling equation is that 100% of all money made from the gently worn clothing goes towards women and girl’s grants and initiatives that the company has long supported.

And based on wearing an EILEEN FISHER badge all day at Green Festival and the amount of women that came up to me to tell me how wonderful the company has been supporting their various efforts, I was overwhelmed with positive stories.

The company is very smart.

Papparazzi at the EILEEN FISHER fashion show

Eco-paparazzi at the EILEEN FISHER fashion show

In addition to showcasing a garment’s lifecycle through clever marketing, Twitter meet-ups, power washing over 100 stencils into the sidewalks in Seattle and Manhattan with “We’d Like Our Clothes Back Now #thxverymuch,” the apex of the campaign was the New York fashion show where social media and campaign came alive.

It is one thing to claim sustainability, but get 8 top sustainable fashion influencers behind you answering questions about manufacturing, and you have a potential media fiasco with where it might take you. I was impressed that the team at EILEEN FISHER allowed the questions I’d written to be discussed on stage and of course, all the while with a beautiful writer, designer or editor clad in EILEEN FISHER’S most ethical clothing, backing more than just a personalized look.

They were representing the company.

Goodlifer's Amy DuFault, who co-produced the show with Casey Jones, Social Media Specialist for EILEEN FISHER

Goodlifer’s Amy DuFault, who co-produced the show with Casey Jones, Social Media Specialist for EILEEN FISHER

With headlines on this very day showing us yet another round of deaths from a garment factory in Bangladesh with a building completely collapsing and killing 80 (so far), one has to reflect on the state of the fashion industry and where consciousness comes in and how liable we are as humans who consume.

When I asked Luna Lee, EILEEN FISHER’S Human Rights Specialist about whether their company had ever been called out by the media or non-profit organizations for any violations related to labor and environment, Lee said the company tries its best to do due diligence and know their supply chain.

“There is always more to find out, and we are certainly not perfect. The key is to always ask thoughtful questions. We are in the process of planning a supply chain mapping project this year. Our intention is to know everything about our products; from the farm level to our store, and every single process and detail along the way.”

Models in tank tops at the runway finale

Models in tank tops at the runway finale

Campaigns like EILEEN FISHER’s Green Eileen, Ampersand and #thxverymuch campaigns are what this writer hopes is the tip of the iceberg, the invitation for other mainstream brands to really walk the talk, even if at a snail’s pace, and to do it with transparency and traceability.

Which moving forward, will 100% be the name of the game.

Want to join the Green Eileen team? To participate, if you have any EILEEN FISHER clothing you no longer wear but can’t seem to part with, visit any of EILEEN FISHER’s retail locations and you’ll receive a tax receipt and $5 in “Recycling Rewards” per item for a future purchase.

All photos by Dan Cutrona Photography

About author
Amy DuFault is a sustainable fashion writer and editor whose work has been published in EcoSalon, Ecouterre, Huffington Post, Organic Spa, Coastal Living, Yahoo News, The Frisky and other online and print publications. In addition to being a former co-owner of an eco-boutique and repping for many designers, she also coaches and connects the sustainable fashion community.
5 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. What an honor to be included with such amazing talent and on such an important mission! We loved sharing our supernatural makeup and showing just how good beautiful can get. :)

  2. W3LL PEOPLE, it was an honor to have you be part and I DID get to swipe my lips with some of your sexy lip color-hot! Fan for life!

  3. Great idea and execution! Hooray for the entire EF team–totally modern in every important way.

  4. This makes me SMILE from ear to ear…and wish I could have been there to see it & BE a part of it! EF is full of heart and soul & fearlessly leading the way! So impressed every step of the way…action does speak louder than words. All the best!

  5. Thanks Joyce and Jen-this is the type of company we should all be supporting! Stay tuned for even more initiatives they’ll be launching. Exciting to see for sure.

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