Innovative, collaborative, friendly… These are the three words that first come to mind when I reflect back on my experience this summer as a Social Media and Public Relations Intern at EILEEN FISHER. Now that my ten weeks interning at such an impactful company are over, I wanted to share my experience been involved in a fashion company that is doing so much good for the world.
EILEEN FISHER is a company that is changing the way we think about the fashion industry. Before working here I viewed the fashion industry as an industry that was destructive, doing more harm than good, and a place that was strictly for companies looking to make a profit. Now I see that fashion truly does have the power to change the world, aside from increasing confidence in the women who wear the clothing.
EILEEN FISHER has pledged to achieve 100% organic cotton and linen fabrics by the year 2020 in their campaign called Vision2020. They want to ensure all of these fabrics are made without harmful pesticides and without injuring workers in the supply chain process. The company is also in the process of finding a way to move more production to the United States, where their denim, bags and belts are currently made.
I had the awesome opportunity to be involved in the EF X CFDA Remade in the USA pop-up shop, which you may have read about on Fashionista. This project began when three social innovators were chosen to create a capsule collection, repurposing older, damaged EILEEN FISHER clothing that was donated back into the company through the GREEN EILEEN program. This collection consists of three main parts- #stainsonstains, felted jackets and sweaters, and reconstructed pieces.
The #stainsonstains tanks are featured in the picture above. These are tank tops dyed by the fabulous Teslin Doud, using all-natural dyes such as onion skins, eucalyptus leaves and avocado pits. These natural dyes cover any stains that may have previously been on the shirts, bringing a whole new look to a piece that was once viewed as ruined. These tanks are perfect for those who are guilty of constantly spilling things on themselves!
The felted sweaters and jackets are each made from sixteen to twenty recycled sweaters, sewn together to create a stunningly unique piece. Carmen Gama is the social innovator that specializes in this technique, searching through piles of sweaters to find those that will pair together perfectly.
Last but not least are the deconstructed pieces of the collection, featured in the picture below. Lucy Jones focused on these tops and bottoms, analyzing hundreds of GREEN EILEEN items to discover which ones were salvageable. She focused on finding pieces that had enough fabric that was useable and undamaged in order to match different colors in the same fabrics to create pieces in the classic EILEEN FISHER shape.
My favorite project of my internship was helping out with the Remade in the USA Collection. I think the pieces in this collection make it much easier for a younger customer to relate to the EILEEN FISHER brand. Not only are the pieces made with the environment in mind, but they are classic pieces that can be viewed as more youthful by the younger customer like myself.
Working at EILEEN FISHER has made me much more conscious of clothing that cares. I have learned that when I choose fast fashion I am also choosing to support child labor, unjust working conditions, chemically-dyed clothing, an untraceable supply chain, and an overall unethical company. Why would anyone choose to support this? We wouldn’t if everyone was educated on what these fashion companies are really up to overseas. The next time you buy your clothing consider where it is coming from. Perhaps then you will choose to invest in one piece that is supporting safe practices rather than five that are leading to the destruction of the environment and factory workers.
I am excited for what is in store for EILEEN FISHER in the fashion industry. I can’t wait to see what new and innovative project they come up with next. Be sure to follow the brand on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see the inspiring campaigns that they will be sharing in the upcoming weeks!