Show Your Love for the Earth Through Sustainable Fashion

April 22nd. Do you know what day that is? No, it’s not International Pancake Day or International Wine Day, two “holidays” that millennials are probably more familiar with than this day. April 22nd is Earth Day, a day that is dedicated to caring for our planet and making eco-conscious choices.

I find it ironic how millennials are “Earth-activists” and care about the environment, yet most do absolutely nothing to help it. While yes, part of Earth’s future lies in the hand of our President, it is our decisions in our everyday life that ultimately effect the health of Mother Nature. Being a millennial myself, I admit that I am not the best at recycling or reusing my resources. However, I am also not preaching for everyone else to help the Earth but not help it myself. So this brings me to ask you, how have you planned to help the Earth on this lovely upcoming Saturday?

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I think we can all sacrifice a few hours of our day to pick up litter in the neighborhoods surrounding us. I highly recommend organizing a neighborhood clean-up and picking up ย litter in your surrounding area. Just imagine if everyone did this; the Earth could be completely clean for a few hours! Growing up, my mom would bring my sister and I to participate in our neighborhood Earth Day clean-ups. I actually ended up always enjoying them, walking away with a sense of accomplishment that the patch of ground was clean because of my efforts. One time I even found an old love letter hiding in the litter alongside the highway. Not only are you helping your community, but you could find your own little treasures!

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You may be asking yourself, well how can I make a change that will permanently help the Earth? My answer for that is sustainable fashion. Many people, specifically Earth-activists, do not realize just how detrimental the fashion industry is to Mother Nature. Not only is it the fabric itself that is unethical, but the services of those who are making the clothing, the dying of the clothing, the shipping of the clothing… It is truly unfathomable how much harm fashion does to the environment.

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Fast fashion stores like H&M, Forever 21 and Zara are doing nothing but harming the environment with the toxins their factories release into the air, the unsustainable fabrics, and the strenuous practices that they put their workers through. Unless we stop buying from these stores, fast fashion companies will only continue to gain power.

Eilen Fisher fashion blogger

While I know it is hard not to shop at these stores, because lets face it, they are the only thing in our budget, but it is essential that we at least support companies making efforts towards sustainable fashion. My favorite company working towards this goal is EILEEN FISHER. Last summer I worked as a Social Media and Public Relations Intern for them and ย experienced first-hand how ethics and safe environmental practices are the core of their company (read more about my experience here). We need to support companies like EILEEN FISHER who are making an effort to change the fashion industry as we know it.

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Not only do these two companies design and produce their clothing with the environment in mind, but they make an effort to truly educate consumers. Look on either of their websites and you will see environmental statistics plastered all over. They don’t try to hide how and where they produce their products, which most companies do. Try to find out where fast fashion retailers make their clothes. Hint: you won’t be able to. They don’t easily disclose this information on their website. If this information is found, it is usually in a news article titled “Forever 21 Clothing Made in U.S. Sweatshops for $4 an Hour” or “Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Uniqlo: Who’s Paying for our Cheap Clothes?“.

Eileen Fisher fashion blogger

Earth Day may be April 22nd, but every day should be Earth Day. I know we are all not perfect, but we all can do something a little extra to make the environment a healthier place. I’m not talking fighting legislation or joining the Green Party, but something we can all easily do every day, like make sustainable fashion choices.

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The EILEEN FISHER Experience

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!