Well Made

78 Closing the Clothing Loop with Cynthia Power, Director of EILEEN FISHER Renew

Episode Summary

A discussion on circular economies with the Director of EILEEN FISHER Renew — their recover and resell apparel program.

Episode Notes

EILEEN FISHER is closing the loop on their apparel through Renew. The brand starts with high-quality fabrics and designs and takes back their used clothes in any condition. Since 2009, Renew has recovered over one million garments. The pieces go on to be cleaned, then they're resold, deconstructed and remade into new garments, or regenerated into other innovations. At their east coast recycling workshop, the Tiny Factory, Renew is developing ways to extend their products’ lifecycles while implementing ethical and sustainable systems. Cynthia Power is the Director of EILEEN FISHER Renew and she's at the frontline of Tiny Factory. By taking responsibility for what their brand puts out into the world and its end-of-life impact, Cynthia believes they can work toward a less taxing model through shared learnings.

On this episode, Cynthia talks about welcoming change and letting your interests be a career guide (2:00). She talks about the importance of labor in the apparel industry and respecting the origins of clothing (12:03). Cynthia shares the history of Renew (16:33) and gets real about the business and creative challenges of implementing renewable textile solutions for the EILEEN FISHER mainline (27:40). She explains the principles of circular fashion — keeping fabrics in use longer and at their highest value (29:15) — and continually creating best practices around manufacturing at the Tiny Factory (39:17). Lastly, Cynthia talks about EILEEN FISHER’s open source mentality (42:21) and slowly making strides toward a more responsible future.

Also mentioned on the show:

Links and images can be found on the Lumi blog.