Clothing has always been a huge part of my life. My father ran a company in the Garment Center and I spent many days of my childhood playing in his warehouse. My sister and I would ride around on the rolling racks of plastic covered dresses that were lined up and ready to be loaded onto trucks. I loved watching the women in the sewing room making samples and would play for hours in the trimming room with ribbons, beads and buttons. And of course, watching my mom, who was a salesperson, schmooze the buyers in the showroom.

With this childhood, it’s not hard to believe that I have become a “Fashion Victim.” I admit to keeping up with all the latest styles and trends. This means, of course, that after a season or two, many of my purchases go out of style. The problem is what to do with these old clothes. Many consignment stores will not take items that are no longer on trend (i.e. a jacket with an 80’s style shoulder pad). Even thrift shops reject a garment that is stained.

But as a child, while I was enamored by the glamorous side of fashion, I was never concerned about what happened to all the waste.

Fast forward and now we are all well aware of the impact that consumerism has on our environment. The garment industry in particular has taken a huge toll on the planet. It has been reported that 87% of total fiber input used for clothing is incinerated or sent to landfills, representing a loss of more than $100 billion annually. Reportedly, the industry generates more greenhouse emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

As many companies have realized, we can no longer sit back and watch this happen.

Cut to … Eileen Fisher. Since 2009, the company has been reusing the natural fibers she uses in her main line to create new products.

Eileen Fisher resells garments that are in good condition and reinvents stained or damaged fabrics into one-of-a-kind patchwork garments. Unsalvageable garments and scraps are shredded and layered into a fluffy textile through a process called felting. Eileen Fisher’s Waste No More series is made up of products that are “upcycled” using the felting process.

SHOP Cooper Hewitt decided to offer the Waste No More eyeglass case line inspired by last year’s highly successful exhibition Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. The exhibition focused on sustainability and selected designers that advocate for environmental justice through creative and inventive designs.

Eileen Fisher did this with the Waste No More eyeglass cases. Each eyeglass case is unique. The cases are made of felted fabric and are available in an array of layered colors.

As someone who is a fashion devotee but is concerned about the environment (and as an eyeglass wearer), these cases check all the boxes for me. They look great, are colorful and fun, and are made from 100% recycled fabrics.

Posted by Cindy

SHOP BLOG is written by the sales associates of SHOP Cooper Hewitt, bringing their singular design expertise into the digital realm.



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