Imagine the Next Level of Fashion

EILEEN FISHER, Inc.

3. Good Health and Well-Being 5. Gender Equality 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

Horizon 2030 is a project that Eileen Fisher hopes to complete by 2030 where their focus is on zero waste, thriving communities, future fibers, and climate correction. Aiming towards a more sustainable future has always been present in the company’s goals and actions. Horizon 2030 aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.

Authors

Ebram Halim

Ebram Halim

Wasif Ahmed

Wasif Ahmed

Tahirah Lee

Tahirah Lee

Sayeda Choudhury

Sayeda Choudhury

School

Rutgers Business School

Rutgers Business School

Professor

Joseph Markert

Joseph Markert

Innovation

The innovation of Eileen Fisher that we have chosen to focus on is Horizon 2030. This new initiative came shortly after Vision 2020 in which they made an effort to go 100% sustainable and came very close to their goals. Horizon 2030 is basically an extension of that. Eileen Fisher is aiming to use 100% recyclable and organic cotton fibers to reduce their carbon footprint.

As stated on their website, the company's vision is to make clothes in a way that actually makes things better. This requires innovating the entire method of manufacturing clothing into a brand new system.

They have partnered with Harvard Shine to maintain worker well-being as part of their Horizon 2030 initiative. To reach their goals for sustainable material, they have also partnered with supply chains with easily traceable NGOs and they plan to increase the number of clothes they take back and sell by 15%.

Eileen Fisher has also partnered with Native Energy to purchase renewable energy credits for 100% of their electricity consumption. Additionally, they are working with Renewal Energy Buyers Alliance to increase the number of supply chain partners that support renewable energy. Lastly, they plan on using 25% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Imagine the Next Level of Fashion

Inspiration

The company's founder, Eileen Fisher, wants to be the first to be recognized and serve as a model for other organizations to follow. Fisher urges her company to implement this plan collectively. “We want to make nothing but love the result of the work that we do.” We believe that the founder derives her passion from creating sustainable clothing for the planet. According to Fisher, “All companies should be making products that have sustainability inherent in the products themselves, rather than making things or selling products that are garbage and then donating to the environment.”

Usually, in the marketplace, no one recommends for others what they should do to be successful. Instead, they let other companies find a way to thrive on their own. It’s very clever from Fisher's words that she suggests this approach to other clothing companies for the sake of decreasing fashion pollution. “The Biggest Thing We Can Do is Reduce” (Fisher).

The Co-Founder of Eileen Fisher Inc. thought about the impact of the fashion industry on the planet and came up with the idea to create more sustainable clothing and reduce carbon emissions. “The fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, first only to the oil industry” (Fisher). This quote shows that Fisher acknowledges the effect of the fashion industry on the planet, and she does not want society to face the consequences that will result in the long run. Fisher urges collective action from all companies to make their products more sustainable and less polluted. Eileen Fisher, Inc. labeled these innovations as “Vision 2030” which indicates that these innovations relate to a sense of mission.

Overall impact

The Horizon 2030 innovation is impacting the community, environment, and climate. Currently, this innovation has caused Eileen Fisher’s company to form a partnership with Los Angeles factories to perform a three-year research project with Harvard SHINE to gear their purchasing practices towards a focus on the wellbeing of workers. In the future, they plan to “continue to promote the connection between climate resiliency and women’s leadership through Supporting Women in Environmental Justice grants” (Fisher).

For the environment, they are beginning to research regenerative fibers that will restore the earth, which will enable the land to capture and store atmospheric carbon. As soon as next year, they plan to increase the number of clothes they take back and resell by at least 15% annually and also find techniques to make upcycled, third life products at a greater scale. They would also like to use more fibers recycled from their own materials.

Lastly, for the climate, they are focusing on renewable energy and carbon reduction projects, and even turning their support towards wind power by purchasing renewable energy credits for 100% of the electricity consumption in all of their stores. By 2025, they would like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25%.

Business benefit

Eileen Fisher Inc. is big on the well being of their employees. According to their website, they provide “a wide range of services and products, including massage, acupuncture, gym memberships, exercise equipment, and wellness retreats.” (eileenfisher.com) Employees are also reimbursed for up to $1,000 per year on anything health or fitness related, which encourages employees to invest in themselves and their health.

Along with the typical medical, dental, and 401k benefits, they also offer many other unique benefits for their employees, including an employee stock ownership program, profit sharing bonus, and domestic partner medical and dental insurance coverage.

Without a doubt, the company is all about sustainability. They also try to carry over sustainable methods into their workplace. During our interview with the Vice President of Social Consciousness, Amy Hall, she mentioned that their design team "puts sustainability front and center in their work, with a focus on product design and materials”, which is quite evident through their practices.

The company is working on being more sustainable in terms of their carbon emissions, like utilizing renewable energy and adjusting their logistics practices. They are working on switching over to sea logistics rather than air, but it is a process that will take a lot of change in the timing of production. They are also currently working on convincing the landlord of their office building to install solar panels but haven’t been successful so far.

Social and environmental benefit

First and foremost, The current development of Horizon 2030 will benefit the environment and society by eliminating waste through using old clothes as the raw material for new ones. This means doing business in a way that improves ecosystems. By producing more sustainable clothing for society, the company will decrease clothing waste.

According to their website, Eileen Fisher intends to “Increase the number of clothes we take back and resell by at least 15% annually. Use more fibers recycled from our materials, based on ongoing R&D, to find new reuse and recycling solutions and upcycling. Support renewable energy and carbon reduction projects in partnership with NativeEnergy. Support wind power by purchasing renewable energy credits for 100% of the electricity consumption in all our stores and corporate spaces” (Fisher).

This quote illustrates that the company acknowledges the climate crisis and has established targets mainly designed to improve the environment by reducing waste carbon emissions. This quote also shows the urgent action that Eileen Fisher Inc. has committed to accomplishing by 2030 to minimize any damages resulting from their clothing production.

Interview

Amy Hall, Vice President, Eileen Fisher

Photo of interviewee

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EILEEN FISHER, Inc.

EILEEN FISHER, Inc.

Irvington, NY, US

Business Website: https://www.eileenfisher.com/

Year Founded: 1984

Number of Employees: 501 to 1000

Horizon 2030 is a project that Eileen Fisher hopes to complete by 2030 where their focus is on zero waste, thriving communities, future fibers, and climate correction. Aiming towards a more sustainable future has always been present in the company’s goals and actions. Horizon 2030 aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.