In this dialogue, CCARE’s founder and director, Dr. James Doty, asks Eileen Fisher about her life’s work and what role compassion may have played.
Eileen is the Founder and Chairwoman of EILEEN FISHER, INC., the clothing company known for its simple shapes and beautiful fabrics. Eileen ventured into clothing design in 1984. Her original concept – pieces that work together to help women get dressed easily – still defines the company’s collections, which are sold at 65 EILEEN FISHER stores, over 300 department and specialty stores across the US, UK and Canada as well as 2 Green Eileen stores, which are part of the company’s innovative recycling program.
Eileen is passionate about business as a movement. In spring 2015, the company announced VISION2020, a bold five-year plan that addresses sustainability and human rights. In keeping with Eileen’s belief in collaboration, VISION2020 calls for partnering with other brands to shift the fashion industry. “We don’t want sustainability to be our edge,” says Eileen. “We want it to be universal.”
In 2015, Eileen also launched the Eileen Fisher Learning Lab where employees and the public are invited to embark on journeys of inquiry to explore purpose, mindfulness and embodiment through a variety of workshops and events.
In October 2015, the Fashion Group International honored Eileen with the prestigious Sustainability Award. Eileen was the recipient of the 2015 Riverkeeper Award as well as BF+DA’s Corporate Leadership in Advancing Sustainability Award. Eileen’s additional honors include the 2012 Leaders of Change award from the Global Conference for Social Change and the Board of Directors Award from the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women. She is a 2012 inductee into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.