I've been wearing EILEEN FISHER fashions since the day I got out of MBA School and realized I needed something other than jeans to show up as a consultant to Fortune 500s. Won’t tell you how long ago that was now, but let’s say north of two decades.
Before I met Eileen and her cast of awesome leaders – mostly as you’d imagine, very stylish women -- I used to call myself the “poster child for EILEEN FISHER fashions” because I felt so right in her wardrobe. Casual yet elegant. Classy yet comfortable. When I’d don EILEEN, I always felt a bit smarter, more capable, ready for the job, looking sharp.
Now X+ decades later, I am even more proud to wear EILEEN. Because the company has made a serious, authentic, no BS, audacious, commitment to sustainability. The vision is 100% sustainability in all their clothes for all time. They are well on their way: next spring for example their line will be 70% eco. As my daughter’s 12 year-old pal said, “You mean you can be fashionable and environmental at the same time? How cool is that?”
EILEEN FISHER is adopting the definition of sustainability that I like best, “Creating the conditions for all life to thrive.” That’s not just cutting waste, that’s not just cutting carbon, that’s not just treating workers fairly, though they are doing all those things beautifully. That’s a paradigm shift. Can you imagine a world where businesses actually put their considerable prowess into building a “world where all life thrives?” Well that’s exactly what they’re doing and it rocks my soul and – may it be so – will rock this world.
At the Climate March last week, my family and I walked with a gang of pals including Paul Zeitz. Paul is a passionate and effective activist for peace and social justice who works these days for John Kerry at the State Department. When Paul learned of my work at EILEEN FISHER (how lucky am I, now serving as a consultant to their Sustainability Priority) and the company’s audacious aspirations, he said, “Great, you have to create a Gold Standard for business.” That’s my dream. EILEEN FISHER will show the world that it’s possible. To make clothing that, as EF’s director of Social Consciousness (how do you like that title)? Amy Hall says, “When you’re done with it, you can put in the River to feed the fish, or throw on the compost to feed your kids.” To do this while elevating worker livelihood in their supply chain across the Globe. And to make a healthy profit all the while. Margins and Mission. A beautiful thing. Just like EILEEN'S clothes.
Look for more on the EILEEN FISHER sustainability story in this BLOG. My intention is to share what we’re doing, as inspiration for all. See you next week!