Did I Hear You Say Rag Paper Lantern? It's Green Eileen
by Jen Graves
on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 9:28 AM
What used to constitute retail "ecology" was, like, Gap in the middle, Banana Republic more expensive, Old Navy cheaper. Now in 2013, retail ecology is like this: Eileen Fisher is setting up a thrift version of itself.
Green Eileen already exists in New York and it's coming to Seattle in March, says a press release: "Both a store and a recycling program," it's a "unique, environmentally conscious retail experience," "a project of the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation and all proceeds support women and girls."
Eileen Fisher clothes seem luxurious, dull: beautiful fabrics, cuts beyond comfortable, colors worn by cultures afraid of colors, unaffordable. It's great that all the proceeds of Green Eileen benefit the ladyfoundation. My cynical side still wonders whether this is a bid for relevance in an economy where a sweater for 200 smackers is just offensive. (What what? What what?.)
In March, Green Eileen will open at 4860 Rainier Avenue South. (The three regular EF stores—two in Seattle, one in Bellevue—will still be the same.) It'll sell used EF stuff, or new EF stuff made of old EF stuff: "Clothing that is too worn or stained to resell is cut up and used creatively. It might be woven into rugs, sewn into hats or made into rag paper lanterns at community classes." Each donated garment gets you $5 toward new EF stuff. Forty old sweaters and you get a new one!
Then again, poor EF. Trying to do something nice and here I am, dissing. I'm sure there's better dissing to be done in the realm of corporate/designer retail. WDYT?