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Eileen Fisher outlines bold sustainability goals

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NEW YORK, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — EILEEN FISHER is taking a stand for sustainable business practices by announcing its new VISION2020 campaign, a bold new plan detailing the steps the brand will take over the course of the next five years toward reaching a goal of 100% sustainability. The brand will launch a national advertising campaign announcing its efforts, which will be supported through social media, PR, online, and their retail stores. Known for its commitment to responsible and eco-friendly business practices, EILEEN FISHER will outline the steps they will take over these next five years to work towards that goal in eight important categories: materials, chemistry, water, carbon, conscious business practices, fair wages & benefits, worker voice, and worker & community happiness.

“To create a truly responsible supply chain, we need to scrutinize everything we do, from the field to the factory to the landfill,” said Candice Reffe, Co-Creative Officer. “We need to take a hard look at what’s often swept under the rug — toxins, carbon emissions, and low worker pay, to name a few. It won’t be easy. We’ll need the help of our customers, our manufacturing partners, and like-minded brands. And we’ll do it with two simple words: no excuses.”

The brand plans to continue on its path toward fiber sustainability by using only organic cotton and linen in its clothing by 2020. Additionally, the brand plans to use only wool from sheep that are humanely raised on sustainable farms, and swap Tencel® for rayon. To improve its use of color, the brand will be continuing its partnership with bluesign® technologies working toward responsible chemical, water, and energy usage. By the year 2020, roughly 30% of all EILEEN FISHER items will be bluesign® certified. Further, the brand plans to reach out to other fashion labels to create demand for responsible dyes in an attempt to establish a new industry norm. To reverse the global resource consumption trend, the brand is pledging to use less water, emitting less carbon, and producing less fabric waste, as well as investing in alternative energy. In five years, EILEEN FISHER, Inc. pledges that its US operations won’t just be carbon neutral — they’ll be carbon positive.

The campaign isn’t just about energy and resources — from investing in alternative supply chains that pay fair wages to creating investment programs like The Handloom Project in rural communities — the brand is also committed to improving the livelihoods of the workers in its supply chain. In an effort to ensure only the finest natural materials are used in the best conditions, the EILEEN FISHER will also be mapping its global supply chain, investigating suppliers, factories, spinners, and mills and posting the progress for fans of the brand to follow online. Finally, EILEEN FISHER is pledging to continue its work to reuse clothing and reduce waste with its clothing recycling program. By 2020, the program is expected to hit 1 million recycled items, which the brand will resell. Those items that can’t be resold will be turned into raw material for new textiles or fashioned into new clothes. With its newly laid out goals, the brand hopes to work towards total sustainability, and envisions a world in which waste is a thing of the past.

About EILEEN FISHER:
EILEEN FISHER has been creating effortlessly chic clothes for the past 30 years. Designed with pure shapes and fine fabrics, the collections offer sophistication, comfort and style that lasts. As a socially conscious company, EILEEN FISHER is a pioneer in eco-friendly fashion and in supporting global initiatives that empower women and girls. The clothing is sold at more than 60 EILEEN FISHER retail stores in the US, Canada and the UK, as well as at major department stores and eileenfisher.com

This post originally appeared here.

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Successful Swedish water project ensures cleaner textile production in India

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Wed, Mar 25, 2015 08:20 CET

(Stockholm, 25 March 2015) – By participating in a unique project for cleaner production, Sustainable Water Resources (SWAR), suppliers to the Swedish retail brands Indiska, KappAhl and Lindex have reduced their environmental impact and improved capacity through training on resource efficiency.

For a garment production factory in Noida, India, the idea of coupling sustainable practices with significant financial savings was initially far-fetched. However, through SWAR they have succeeded.  Now, the factory has reinvested these savings in new technology which ensures efficient use of natural resources.

“We are now all aware of how important it is to save water, energy and chemicals, which is helpful in cutting factory costs. Building capacity and educating at every level in the garment industry needs to be an ongoing process”, says Mr Ravinder Hand from garment manufacturer Radnik.

The SWAR project is a cooperation between the Swedish brands and their Indian suppliers, the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sida, and India-based consultancy cKinetics. SWAR was co-financed by the brands and Sida, in a public-private partnership that linked business and international development goals.

More than 40 factories participated in the project. The project has contributed to saving 284 million litres of water and 402 tonnes of chemicals annually. The factories were also able to save an average of three per cent of their energy cost and three per cent of their operational costs.

“Being able to save costs through resources use efficiency is important, but it is not sustainable without a mind-shift. This is best achieved through continuous training and capacity development”, says Rami Abdelrahman, Programme Manager at SIWI.

The project trained more than 13,000 factory workers and managers in the past two years.

The Indian textile industry contributes with three per cent to India’s GDP and employs more than 45 million people. The industry is one of the largest industrial water polluters in India, and is facing serious growth limitations due to increasing freshwater shortage.

The project expands
More than half of the participating factories will continue to work on their own, continuously communicating their development to their clients in Sweden. Others have joined a network created by SIWI and the three fashion brands for continuing the learning journey.

SWAR has inspired SIWI, Sida, the piloting brands and an additional 16 Swedish fashion brands to catalyse a shift toward sustainable production and continuous learning in major production hubs in Asia and Africa.

Starting in 2015, the project scales up to include several Indian states and four other countries in the world. It involves more than 120 suppliers globally and is a part of the project Sweden Textile Water Initiative, STWI.

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