Having been a fan of the Eileen Fisher brand for a few years, I was excited to discover one of their Renew stores in downtown Columbia City, a suburb of Seattle. According to the website, Eileen Fisher Renew is the brand “taking responsibility for the lifecycle of their clothes”. Their vision is admirable – a future without waste. When a gently-worn article of clothing is returned to Eileen Fisher, the customer receives a $5 rewards card, then if the item is not directly re-sold, it is either mended, overdyed, resewn or felted before re-selling.
The Renew shop in Columbia City was quite busy for a rainy Saturday morning. The selection of merchandise was pretty great, and upon perusal, most garments seemed in near-new condition. The store was simply laid out, a typical dry-cleaners’ conveyor rack ran along one wall and housed a tremendous amount of sweaters, grouped by color. In the front window of the shop was a small tailoring area for mending and adjustments. The sales clerk commented that she loved being able to actually sew on the job, as well as tend to the store.
The brand’s Resewn Collection includes limited-edition pieces all cut and sewn from old clothes and entirely one of a kind. Overall the price points were very reasonable, compared to new Eileen Fisher garments. Aside from Seattle, The Resewn Collection is only available at Eileen Fisher Soho and Making Space Brooklyn. They also have a company-owned factory in Irvington, NY that is dedicated to clothing renewal.
This brand has taken on a noble cause that goes beyond retail and hopefully we will see more stores like this in the future.