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NEW YORK, United States — In this special episode of Drive, BoF’s entrepreneurship podcast series delivered by DHL, the beloved New York-based sustainability pioneer Eileen Fisher discusses her inspirational life and work with BoF’s chief correspondent Lauren Sherman, recorded in front of a live audience of BoF Professionals and students at Parsons School of Design.
“Something’s got to shift in terms of the whole industry,” Fisher shares on stage. “We’re one business and we do the best we can in all the areas we can. We still struggle with shipping and shipping around the world. It’s complicated,” she says.
After over 35 years in business, and 25 years after she hired a head of social consciousness (the 1990s precursor to sustainability), Fisher and her early adopter peers' pioneering efforts are perhaps now beginning to move the needle. “It’s great that so many companies are getting on board, I think that’s huge,” she says.
One of Fisher’s most impactful sustainable initiatives has been her circular Renew programme in which the brand remakes and resells old iterations of clothing. “We think about our materials from the seeds, from the very beginning, all the way through to taking our clothes back from our customers, and we’ve been doing that for 10 years. We have this idea that we can, without making more clothes, double the size of our business.”
Over the inspiring 45-minute talk, Fisher discusses how her unique approach to global growth and international supply and distribution chains enables her to maintain her sustainable principles, before passionately urging fashion entrepreneurs and executives to “care about sustainability and the people. Do it because this is a huge opportunity to make change.”
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