Eileen Fisher's ethical fashion
Eileen Fisher knows she has a lot of power as a designer to reduce pollution.
The designer founded her eponymous label in 1984 after studying interior and graphic design for 10 years. Her ethos has always been to make simple pieces using good quality fabrics and she's now one of the hottest names in the industry, which she puts down to her sustainable approach. Customers can get their hands on the company's best-selling trousers in organic materials by paying 15 per cent more. It's a decision which could have been risky for Eileen's business, but she's sticking it out.
"Because I've been so established and known for the cottons and fabrics that I was doing, and they weren't organic, it was going to cost me money to upgrade them," she told Fashionista. "Some people say (clothing is) the second or third largest polluter. I've come to really believe that we have a lot of power as designers to actually change this problem."
Eileen is getting closer and closer to using 100 per cent cotton, with other sustainable methods including researching material sources and supply chains and launching the Vision2020 campaign to educate customers.
It's this fresh approach that's kept Eileen in the game, as she was close to retiring five or six years ago. Thanks to the rewards her brand is reaping in with its ethical conduct, she's enjoying being in the thick of it now more than ever before.
"How can everyone be engaged in purposeful work?" the 65-year-old mused. "Whether that's being a sustainability ambassador, being involved in the girls program, volunteer work, helping others develop within the company or designing sustainable clothes. That's one of the things that I'm passionate about, making this company really great in so many ways."
Eileen's is one of many brands who following an ethical path, with Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood just two of the other big labels to do so.