Amy Hall – Climate Risk and Opportunities: Social Consciousness at Eileen Fisher Company

20130326tu-eileen-fisher-logoAmy Hall is the Director of Social Consciousness and a member of the Leadership Forum for women’s clothing designer EILEEN FISHER.

Amy supports the company’s efforts to practice business responsibly. In her role, Amy guides the company’s human rights work in its supply chain, supports women and girls through strategic partnerships, and ensures a growing commitment to environmental sustainability in product and practice. Below are highlights from her presentation at the 2013 WNSF Summit.

* * *

Climate change and increased frequencies of climate variability will affect system processes within multiple sectors in cities and will thereby bring about a change in the operation strategies of urban-managers and decision-makers (Rosenzweig et. al., 2011).

In the wake of sudden climate variability, food and retail companies in the private sector face supply chain disruptions: coffee crops, for example, are highly sensitive to weather changes and rising temperatures, and cotton is infamously known as a thirsty plant (Lehner, 2012).

Climate change adaptation policies will vary widely, are location dependent and need to be specifically designed at a local scale (Hallegatte et. al., 2011).

With the frequencies of climate variabilities and increasing global warming, market opportunities have opened up for climate-resilient products (Lehner, 2012).

At the recent WNSF Summit on February 21, Amy Hall, Director of Social Consciousness at Eileen Fisher Company, commented on how Eileen Fisher is responding to the risks of climate change and opportunities through a long and durable process of adaptation.

20130326tu-eileen-fisher-holistic-vision-lifecycle-of-a-garment

Amy noted that the latest initiative by Eileen Fisher – Green Eileen – is the first of its kind in the fashion retail sector in New York. A recycling program, Green Eileen collects and resells gently worn Eileen Fisher clothing. In this way, the private firm extends the life of garments, keeps clothing out of landfills and helps ensure long-term sustainable business practices. “In just three years, sales from our gently worn clothing have added up to $1.3 million in proceeds, all of which goes towards non-profit groups supporting Eileen Fisher”, explained Amy.

Eileen Fisher also has a Repair Program at its distribution center in Secaucus, New Jersey. “Repairing items rather than replacing them keeps clothing in customers’ closets and out of the landfills,”according to Jim Gundell, Co-Chief Operating Officer and Facilitating Leader at Eileen Fisher.

Eileen Fisher company now has 58 stores across United States, Canada and United Kingdom. and warehouse style offices located in Irvington, New York. The offices were recently remodeled to increase natural light useage and is now undergoing repairs after damage from Hurricane Sandy.

__________

Works Cited:

  • Rosenzweig, C., Solecki, W. D., Hammer, S. A., & Mehrotra, S. (Eds.). (2011).Climate change and cities: first assessment report of the Urban Climate Change Research Network. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hallegatte, S., Henriet, F., & Corfee-Morlot, J. (2011). The economics of climate change impacts and policy benefits at city scale: a conceptual framework. Climatic change, 104(1), 51-87.
  • Lehner, P. (2012). Major businesses prepare to deal with climate change. Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard. July 25, 2012. Retrieved on February 25, 2013 from http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/plehner/major_businesses_prepare_to_de.html

Images:

Further Reading:

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Blog, Climate Change, Summit Reports and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s