100 Water Heroes: Eileen Fisher

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Founder of EILEEN FISHER INC

Eileen Fisher is the founder of EILEEN FISHER INC, a highly successful clothing brand that puts human rights and sustainability at the forefront of their work.

Currently, 70% of the cotton used in their production is organically sourced and, as a way to cut down on fabric and fiber waste, the company has developed a recycling programme. Customers can take their ‘gently used’ clothing back to the store and are gifted a $5 coupon for each returned item. The garments are dry cleaned and resold, with all revenue put towards funding leadership programmes and business grants for women. This system has collected and sorted over 1 million pieces of clothing.

As part of their move towards complete sustainability, the company has launched Vision2020, an overview of their goal to reach 100% sustainability by 2020. This includes a pledge to use only the most sustainable, organic fibers, as well as wool that comes from ethically raised sheep. They are also funding alternative energy sources, and reducing their reliance on air shipping. By 2020, they aim to be not only climate neutral, but climate positive.

Speaking on the role her company has to play in changing the world, Eileen states:

I feel there's a role for EILEEN FISHER to play in this shift by sharing the collaboration skills we practice and helping to create the kind of change that wouldn't be possible if each of us acted alone. When I give talks, I often say that business can, indeed, change the world. EILEEN FISHER has done a lot by committing to organic and sustainable fibers, manufacturing clothing in the USA and recycling our clothes with EILEEN FISHER Renew. There's much more to do. And I believe we can do it. I believe we can make a difference. Business can be a movement.

Eileen is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading a clothing company that has put human rights and sustainability at the forefront of their work, showing us that businesses can make a difference.