No excuses — that’s the message from the folks behind the understated fashion empire Eileen Fisher. Known for its commitment to responsible and eco-friendly business practices, the 30-plus-year-old brand is stepping up its sustainability game with last week’s launch of the Vision2020 campaign, its pledge to reach 100 percent sustainability within the next five years.
The national advertising campaign, supported through social media, PR, online and in Eileen Fisher retail stores, promotes the path the company will take to get there in eight defined categories: materials, chemistry, water, carbon, conscious business practices, fair wages and benefits, worker voice and worker and community happiness.
“To create a truly responsible supply chain, we need to scrutinize everything we do, from the field to the factory to the landfill,” Candice Reffe, co-creative officer, said in a statement. “We need to take a hard look at what’s often swept under the rug — toxins, carbon emissions and low worker pay, to name a few. It won’t be easy. We’ll need the help of our customers, our manufacturing partners and like-minded brands.”
In the next five years the brand plans to improve the sustainability of its raw materials by using only organic cotton and linen in its clothing, sourcing wool from humanely-raised sheep and swapping Tencel for rayon. In addition, it will continue to work with Bluesign Technologies on responsible chemical, water and energy usage so that by 2020, roughly 30 percent of all items will be Bluesign certified.
Furthermore, the brand vows to use less water, emit less carbon, produce less fabric waste and invest in alternative energy in a bid to ensure that its U.S. operations will be carbon positive in five years’ time. The company will also be mapping its global supply chain, investigating suppliers, factories, spinners and mills and posting the progress for fans of the brand to follow online.
The company’s clothing recycling program will continue to operate, too, and is expected to hit one million items by 2020, which the brand will then resell. What can’t be resold will be turned into raw material for new textiles or fashioned into new clothes.