Megan Arnaud and Kerri Ulloa from Green Eileen's new Seattle store joined Meeghan to talk about this groundbreaking new project from fashion designer Eileen Fisher. Green Eileen offers gently used Eileen Fisher clothing at deep discounts, with all of the proceeds benefiting local charities.
Green Eileen's Seattle store is only the second in the US (the other one is in Yonkers, New York). The store is located in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood (address: 4860 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle 98116. Phone: 206.772.2551).
The Grand Opening is Saturday, April 20. For more information, visit their website: www.greeneileen.org
Saturday's Grand Opening event will benefity Jubilee Women's Center in Seattle. For more information about this non-profit, visit their website: www.jwcenter.org.
Here's more information about the inspiration behind Green Eileen:
EILEEN’S GOING GREEN TO HELP WOMEN AND GIRLS
Just in time for Earth Day, Columbia City gets a new store that takes going green to a whole new level. Green Eileen’s grand opening is this Saturday, enticing shoppers with food, drink and a powerful dose of altruism. Green Eileen sells gently-worn Eileen Fisher clothes at a deep discount, ranging from 40 percent to 70 percent, and donates its profits to charities that empower women and girls. The sales from Saturday’s grand opening event will benefit the Jubilee Women’s Center on Capitol Hill.
The clothes come from Eileen Fisher customers. The Green Eileen experiment began in 2009, born out of a deep belief in sustainability and a strong desire to fund programs that bring systematic and lasting changes in the lives of women and girls. Customers in a limited number of Eileen Fisher stores were asked to recycle clothes they no longer wore, for a five dollar credit and a tax receipt. They obliged, knowing the clothes would be resold through the nonprofit Green Eileen.
“I thought Eileen Fisher clothes would lend themselves to recycling, because they have longevity, both in terms of the styles and the quality,” said Cheryl Campbell, managing director of Eileen Fisher Foundation. She was right. To date, 90,000 pieces have been recycled and $1.5 million given to charities.
Now Green Eileen is growing. Seattle was chosen as the site for the first Green Eileen store outside of New York. Managing director Cheryl Campbell says, “We feel strongly that this unique and compelling retail concept will really resonate with the Seattle community. We’re looking forward to working in the community as we further our sustainability mission.”
The supply chain is growing too. Starting Friday the program is expanding to all Eileen Fisher stores nationwide. Items collected east of the Mississippi River will go to New York. Those collected west of the Mississippi come to Seattle, shipped to the recycling warehouse in Columbia City.
“Almost every day we get a delivery of new clothes. Most are in beautiful shape with such lovely fabrics. It’s hard to believe anyone would part with them” says Kerri Ulloa, West Coast recycling manager for Green Eileen. Ulloa is in charge of the recycling effort and leads the team that professionally cleans the garments, selecting the best for resale. Items not selected are donated to shelters or used in upcyling craft workshops. Those workshops start in the Seattle store next month.
Green Eileen opened its doors in early April and sales have been brisk without any advertising or publicity. “The quality of the fabrics and Eileen Fisher’s timeless designs are the reasons these clothes hold their value” says Seattle store manager Megan Arnaud. “Many customers have heard of Green Eileen from Eileen Fisher stores or friends and are excited to see what they can add to their wardrobe.”
Green Eileen is open seven days a week. If all goes well, the results will benefit women and girls in Seattle and globally for years to come.
Green Eileen is a 501(c)(3) and part of the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation