Watch 'The True Cost'

About the Campaign

This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. Directed by Andrew Morgan, The True Cost is a groundbreaking independent documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing.

Sustainable fashion practices are important to the future of Eileen Fisher. After viewing the film, Eileen Fisher believed that it could serve as a catalyst for change—which is why her company has teamed up with the filmmakers and TakePart to raise awareness around these issues.

Why did you want to get involved in promoting The True Cost?

Last year, director Andrew Morgan asked me to participate in the film. I was intrigued by his story, and after watching the film I was so incredibly moved. I knew in that moment I wanted to help spread the important message of the negative impact fashion has on human rights and the environment.

How far do you feel the fashion industry has come in regard to sustainable practices?

I realized a year and a half ago, we weren’t moving our sustainability efforts forward fast enough. This year, we launched Vision2020 and outlined our path toward 100 percent sustainability by the year 2020. We recognize that we will likely still have much more to do at that point to achieve 100 percent. We have set a high bar for 100 percent sustainability. It means zero carbon footprint, 100 percent eco-fiber, 100 percent living wage in our supply chain, and much more. It is truly looking at every component of our products and practices and doing whatever is necessary to have a net positive environmental and human impact through our business.

When you design, what are you thinking about in terms of how to produce pieces in a more eco-friendly way?

Becoming more mindful about clothing means looking at every fiber and every seed and every dye and seeing how to make it better. We want to make sustainability our way of life; we want it to be universal. Our goal is simple: Design without negative impacts right from the start. Sustainability starts with design. When we select fabrics and yarns, we are making choices about better farming practices, greener dyes, and innovative production, building an eco-collection that accounts for more than 25 percent of our line. We work to create products designed to last and that are easy to care for.

Do you have discussions with other designers about the environmental impact of the fashion industry?

Yes, we do connect with other designers, and we invite any designer who is interested in learning more or partnering with us to make a bigger impact in the world to join us. I recently attended a CEO roundtable discussion hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University and the United Nations Global Compact focused on the state of sustainability and minimizing the impact of the fashion industry on the world. It was promising for me to see companies like Patagonia, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, and others come together to create a powerful and purposeful conversation.

What’s one thing you’d like consumers to be aware of in terms of sustainable fashion?

We are all in this together. We not only need the fashion companies to change; we need consumers to change their mind-set about clothing. It starts by stopping to think about what you are buying and how good it is. How long it might last. Does it belong to just this moment? For me, it is about simplicity. If it is simple, it can be worn in over time in multiple ways.

Read the full interview.

5 QUESTIONS WITH EILEEN FISHER