Verdict: Environmentally Friendly, Made in the U.S.A, Fair Trade,
Eileen Fisher is a line of clothing for women that is partially made in the U.S.A.,
What they sell: Women’s Clothing
Transparency: Very Transparent. Articles detail information on all of their processes, including limitations they face and obstacles. Each item lists the content of the clothing and whether it is recycled, fair trade, organic, etc.
What They Are Doing Great:
- 20% of their clothing is made in the U.S.A.
- Bluesign® Certified fabrics are dyed with more natural, less toxic and safer dyes (good for the environment and the workers that make the clothing). 13% of Eileen Fisher garments are Bluesign® Certified, and they are working towards increasing that number to 30% by 2020. This page includes an excellent explanation of the logistical troubles behind achieving 100% certification.
- Many items are fair trade (not all, but ones that are are labelled as such). Fair trade means that the workers are being paid and treated fairly.
- Many items are made from organic natural fibers or recycled fibers. Their goal is for 100% of their cotton to be organic by 2020, thus eliminating all potential of cotton coming from unfairly treated workers (ie. Uzbekistan cotton) or environmentally unfriendly farming practices.
- Sizing includes Plus sizes and Petites.
- They have a recycling program which offers a rebate for returning unwanted Eileen Fisher items to the store as opposed to sending the to a landfill.
- They have a care and repair section on their website which promotes more eco friendly habits for caring for our clothing.
- You can read more about their goals for 2020 on their website.
Areas of Discussion:
- Some items are made from silk. In order to create silk, the silkworms are baked or steamed to death to prevent them from leaving their cocoons and destroying the silk around them. Although silk is biodegradable and feels great, many people disapprove of this treatment of silk worms and promote Peace Silk instead. However, although peace silk allows the moths to live and leave their cocoons, their offspring are so numerous that they can’t be fed and many hundreds of pupa die of starvation or dehydration within days for each moth that is allowed to live. Alternatives to silk are often made of synthetics like rayon, which have their own environmental issues.
Room for Improvement:
Emailed Feb 5 2016 to ask:
- Do you track and make goals to reduce power, water, and natural gas consumption in your supply chain or in your stores and warehouses?
- Do you make efforts to use biodegradable/recyclable/recycled content shipping, marketing and packaging materials?