Volume 1 / Issue 1
RECYCLE FOR IMPACT GREEN EILEEN is dedicated to the principles of environmental sustainability. By reselling gently worn Eileen Fisher clothing, we support a product’s life cycle, which is good for the earth and the people who inhabit it.
What We’re Reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline Until recently, Elizabeth L. Cline was a typical American consumer, shopping at outlet malls, discount stores, and cheap but trendy retailers, buying a new item of clothing almost every week (the national average is 64 per year). When she saw that all she had to show for it was a closet and countless bins packed full of low-quality fashions she barely wore she realized that something was deeply wrong. Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like J. C. Penney now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. Retailers are producing clothes at enormous volumes in order to drive prices down and profits up, and they’ve turned clothing into a disposable good. After all, we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.
Book Signing with Elizabeth Cline at GREEN EILEEN, Yonkers store, October 16 at 6pm. Upcycling workshops to follow.
But what are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more importantly, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?
In Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap-fashion juggernaut. Cline shows how consumers can break the buy-andtoss cycle by supporting innovative and stylish sustainable designers and retailers, refashioning clothes throughout their lifetimes, and mending and even making clothes themselves. n
In previous generation women not only mended their clothes, they often made them too.
The Story of GREEN EILEEN by Theresa Bradley, Huffington Post The following is an excerpt. The full article can be found at: http://www. huffingtonpost.com/theresa-bradley/ green-eileen-fisher_b_1414706.html Fashion designer Eileen Fisher has been cleaning her cluttered home closets, lugging her simple sweaters and layered knit dresses down the hardwood stairs of her Hudson-side home toward a new shop that could make her company both greener and more charitable. Customers and employees have donated more than 50,000 used Eileen Fisher garments for resale since 2009, raising more than $600,000 for nonprof- Janet Goyzueta, Green Eileen recycling leader its that support women and girls. Now (right), with assistant Ynes Castillo Torrico (left). Green Eileen, as the program is known, has opened its own recycled-item only store outside New York, giving old and new shoppers a way to do good—and to feel good about her brand. More than just selling used clothes for charity, programs like Fisher’s are transforming traditional eco-friendly efforts into two-way projects that build community around a cause. Shoppers at a growing group of clothing companies can now not only buy recycled items or see a portion of sales go to nonprofits, but partner with brands that give them a more active role in giving back. “You need to be responsible for the product from start to finish, but you also need to create community and connection,” Fisher said at her airy corporate headquarters in Irvington, N.Y. “It makes the business much deeper than just selling stuff.” At Eileen Fisher, a cut of profits had for years gone to charity, but when the financial crisis slashed sales in 2008, the team decided it needed a more business-minded way to protect giving. Green (continued on the other side.)
Buy only items you love, that are easy to care for and that will stay in style for years.
who we support Proceeds from the GREEN EILEEN recycling initiative go to support organizations that uplift the lives of women and girls locally, nationally, and around the globe. GEMS is one of over 50 organizations that receive support in doing this important work in the world. Find a list of other organizations and programs supported through the GREEN EILEEN recycling initiative at greeneileen.org. Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) is the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd, a young woman who had been commercially sexually exploited as a teenager. Since its founding GEMS has helped hundreds of young women and girls, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. This program enables them to move beyond the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS provides young women with empathetic, consistent support and viable opportunities for positive change. gems-girls.org n
Other organizations we have supported: • Women for Women international • GEMS • Girls Inc. Westchester • Sadie Nash Leadership Project • Storydancer Project • SPA Sisters Spirit Place • Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill • Women Thrive Worldwide • Women’s Enterprise Development Center • YWCA of White Plains
How to Green the Care Cycle Did you know that clothing’s greatest environmental impact happens during the care cycle? It’s sometimes hard to imagine, but care—washing, drying, ironing, and dry cleaning—uses more energy and toxins than either raising animals for fiber, spinning, dying, manufacturing, or transportation. One of the simplest ways to minimize the impact of care is to machine wash clothes in cold or tepid water, using non petroleum, ecofriendly soaps. Line dry whenever possible (a rack set up near your furnace is ideal). Instead of sending sweaters to the dry cleaner, wash them by using the instructions below.
How to Hand Wash a Sweater Read our care labels and you’ll find that in most cases merino, cashmere, alpaca, and mohair can be washed with these simple steps. Step 1. Fill a basin with cool or tepid water.
Step 2. Place sweater in water and swirl gently. Step 3. Rinse. Drain basin. Gently press sweater to remove excess water, being careful not to wring or twist. Step 4. Spread sweater on a thick, dry towel. Roll the towel the way you would a yoga mat, pressing as you go. Do not twist towel. Step 5. Unroll. Lay sweater on a dry towel on a flat, waterproof surface. Reshape sweater: spread arms out straight, push ribbing together, align collar, and button any buttons. If there is a belt, dry it separately. After 12 to 24 hours (depending on the thickness of the knit), turn sweater over and spread out on a dry towel. You won’t need to reshape but you can pat and fluff. Step 6. Once completely dry, your sweater should be ready to wear. If any wrinkles or folds remain, use a steamer to remove. n Note: Always wash sweaters before storing.
The EILEEN FISHER Community Foundation and GREEN EILEEN offer these activities to support us in our efforts to keep life in balance.
Ongoing Saturdays 10:00am–noon Drop-in Sewing Lessons
Missing a button? Pants need hemming? Wish you could befriend your sewing machine? Drop by the EILEEN FISHER Lab Store and get expert advice with any sewing project—small or big—from seasoned and creative seamstress Tina Doyle. Meet at the EILEEN FISHER LAB Store, 1 Bridge Street, Irvington. $10 suggested donation to the EILEEN FISHER Community Foundation.
Saturdays 10:30am–1:30pm Knitting circle
Join Kristin Ankney for this informal gathering. Meet other knitters and look to Kristin for help with instruction and assisance in you project. Her knowledge/ skills include hand and machine knitting, and crochet. Meet at the EILEEN FISHER LAB Store, 1 Bridge Street, Irvington. $10 suggested donation to the EILEEN FISHER Community Foundation.
Sundays 10:00am–noon Meditation
Meditate, learn to meditate, talks and discussion. The EILEEN FISHER COMMUNITY Foundation is honored to host the Westchester Buddhist Center. The weekly events are free and open to the public. Meet at 2 Bridge Street, Irvington, NY. Contact Jane for more info: westchesterbuddhistcenter@ gmail.com. For directions: westchesterbuddhistcenter.org/contact
Sundays 12:45–2:15pm YOGA
All-levels yoga class led by senior teachers from the The Rivertown Center for Yoga & Health. Our time together will include warm-ups, posture inquiry (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation, and relaxation. The yoga we practice is the yoga of compassionate awareness, also felt as the yoga of the heart and the yoga of transformation. This class is open to students of all levels with the invitation to allow this to be a kind inquiry into the moment. Meet at 2 Bridge Street, Irvington, NY. Fee: $20/class (a portion goes to support GREEN EILEEN)
Workshops All workshops are held at the EILEEN FISHER Lab Store, 1 Bridge Street, Irvington, NY, unless otherwise noted.
Saturday September 15, 1:00–4:00pm Open Studio
GREEN EILEEN gratefully accepts donations. For each gently worn EILEEN FISHER garment donated, customers will receive a tax receipt and a $5 “thank you” gift card from EILEEN FISHER Inc.
At GREEN EILEEN retail locations (LAB Store, Woodbury Centre, and GREEN EILEEN in Yonkers), customers will find professionally cleaned, gently worn EILEEN FISHER clothing for purchase at a reasonable price. Every purchase helps support programs and organizations for women and girls.
GREEN EILEEN is developing a “Third-Life” program for donated items that are not appropriate for resale. Through a series of handson workshops, fabrics and materials are re-purposed and upcycled, turning what might otherwise be headed to the landfill into beautiful, useful items. See upcoming workshop schedule to the right.
Clothing donations are accepted at: • EILEEN FISHER 166 5th Ave, NYC • EILEEN FISHER LAB Irvington, NY • EILEEN FISHER Company Store Woodbury Centre, NY • EILEEN FISHER Nyack, NY
Since the start of the program in October 2009, GREEN EILEEN has collected more than 50,000 gently worn garments and has raised over $600,000.
• GREEN EILEEN Yonkers, NY
The Story of GREEN EILEEN cont’d Eileen was launched as an experiment, collecting and reselling used clothes to fund Fisher’s foundation. Thousands of nearly-new jackets, linen skirts and cashmere cardigans soon flooded drop-off points at certain stores and corporate headquarters, where they were sorted, dry-cleaned and stashed under boxes, along hallways and in any free corner by Janet Goyzueta, who
started as Fisher’s personal housekeeper and now helps to run Green Eileen. The items are resold at a rough two-thirds discount off their original price at two company stores near Manhattan and, since November, at a Green Eileen storefront in Yonkers—netting more per garment for charity than many thrift shops.
Fisher imagines the model expanding, starting with existing stores in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Customers Growth in Annual GREEN EILEEN Sales say it is already making them more continue to fund over 50 organizations loyal to her line. 2009 $41,515
2010 $204,073 2011 $394,334
2012 $484,667 As of July 28, 2012 total proceeds: $1,124,588
Since losing 60 pounds in 2010, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a Pennsylvania-based health care consultant, has donated more than 240 Eileen Fisher pieces to the program, stuffing big brown bags with everything from silk scoop necks to cropped crepe pants to send in. “It’s the companies that sustain the message of giving back to the community that create the greatest trust,” said Sarasohn-Kahn, who now spends so much time at her local Eileen Fisher store that she considers the saleswomen her friends. “It’s a win-win-win.” n
Join us as we kick off our fall series of workshops with an afternoon spent celebrating the art of recycling and upcycling. Meet some of our teachers, make a square for our communal quilt project, try your hand at one of several upcycle crafts, and create something special to take home. FREE.
Saturday September 29, 1:00–4:00pm GREEN EILEEN Pillows
Square, rectangular, puffy, or flat, every home is enhanced by pillows—on the bed, the couch, or a favorite window seat. Add a dash of color or stylish flare to your home after you spend the afternoon learning this easy, hand-sewn method of creating pillows from beautiful textiles collected from the GREEN EILEEN recycled clothing initiative. Take home your unique creation plus the skill to make more. Fee: $60 includes materials, use of all tools, plus coffee, tea, and a snack.
Saturday October 13, 10:00am–4pm Frame the face: Hats with Attitude
For centuries women have donned hats that make unique and striking fashion statements. Soft, draped cloth for sculptural effects or architectural for a more angular look—all hats will be made on thick, felted, recycled fabric collected through the GREEN EILEEN recycled clothing initiative. Construction will be centered on hand stitching with options to embellish the surfaces. Bring elements of your choice such as buttons, cloth, and feathers. Take home a new hat. Fee: $95 includes materials, use of all tools, lunch, plus coffee, tea, and a snack.
Saturday October 27, 10:00am–4:00pm Painting with fabric
Using fabrics from the GREEN EILEEN recycled clothing initiative, make a unique work of textile art to proudly display on your wall. Bring your own image or use provided inspiration to lay out a design and layer pieces of silk, wool, or linen cut in a freeform fashion into an eye-catching picture. Hand stitch, embellish, and get your work ready to hang with bound edges. Fee: $95 includes materials, use of all tools, plus coffee, tea, and a snack.
Saturday November 3, 10:00am–4:00pm Potholder-style RUG weaving
Do you remember the potholders we made as kids by weaving stretchy bands of fabric on a simple loom? Now we can make beautiful rugs drawn from that same concept and recycled-clothing alchemist Crispina ffrench’s proven method, join us for a creative day of making unique, hand-woven rugs that lighten our environmental footprint while massaging the soles of our feet! Bring home your own finished 2.5 x 3.5 foot rug. Meet at EILEEN FISHER Offices, 2 Bridge Street, Irvington, NY. Fee: $145 includes materials, use of all tools, lunch, plus coffee, tea, and a snack.
Saturday November 17, 10:00am–4:00pm Sweater CHOPShop with Crispina ffrench
You don’t need a sewing machine to turn old sweaters into new wearables that are fresh, playful, and captivating. It’s as easy as felting the wool, cutting the pieces for your new project, and stitching everything together using simple hand-sewing skills. Noted designer Crispina ffrench shares her techniques and passion as she introduces you to the beautiful possibilities to be found in old sweaters. Each participant will leave with a completed sweater. Fee: $160 includes materials, use of all tools, lunch, plus coffee, tea, and a snack.
Saturday December 8, 1:00–4:00pm Fabric Jewelry
Upcycle fine Eileen Fisher fabrics from the GREEN EILEEN recycling initiative, including Merino wool, cashmere, and silk, to create fabric jewelry. Interpret your own style to design a unique piece of upcycled, wearable art. Enjoy the comfort of your soft gems. Wear your treasure home! Fee: $60 includes materials, use of all tools, plus coffee, tea, and a snack. For a full listing of workshops and events, please visit our online calendar at greeneileen.org.