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Eileen Fisher expands clothing recycling for Earth Month

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In honor of Earth Month, Eileen Fisher has expanded its Green Eileen program.

The program, which operates year-round in Yonkers, N.Y., and Seattle will go nationwide through April 30. All Eileen Fisher retail stores will take back gently worn Eileen Fisher clothing that can be mended, washed and given a second or third life. For each item donated, customers receive a tax receipt and $5 in Recycling Rewards for shopping at any Eileen Fisher store or online at eileenfisher.com. More details can be found on a recycling page on the company website, where there’s also a store locator.

Donated clothing is resold, with proceeds going to “support programs that improve the lives of women and girls in our local, national and global communities,” according to the company website.

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(Nordstrom is another fashion company that’s helping consumers recycle gently used designer clothing, through a recently announced partnership with FashionProject.com.)

Eileen Fisher has long been environmentally conscious, and the Eileen Fisher spring 2014 collection has more eco-friendly styles than ever. Many silk and linen garments are Bluesign® certified because they have been dyed with less water and without hazardous chemicals. And 70% of the cotton used in all garments is organic.

“Natural fabrics have been the anchor for the clothes since the beginning because of how they feel and function,” Chief Creative Officer Eileen Fisher said via email. “I love the way silk moves, wool breathes, and linen lasts (they wrapped mummies in it).”

When she started her clothing company, “I didn’t subscribe to the kind of planned obsolescence that much of the fashion world dictated, so a value within my design concept was to build on your wardrobe each season, adding a couple more pieces that worked back in versatile ways with the things you already invested in,” she said. “I can’t say I was developing eco fabrics in 1984; I didn’t have an environmental education, but my instincts were rooted in the idea of sustainability.”

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