Eileen Fisher Indigenous Sweater

Building Valuable Relationships

"SVN has had a strong influence on our company's socially responsible business practices, and I deeply value the connections I've made through the network." -Eileen Fisher, founder and Chief Creative Officer, EILEEN FISHER, Inc.

Scott Leonard, CEO and Co-founder of Indigenous Designs, and Amy Hall, Eileen Fisher’s Director of Social Consciousness first met at an SVN conference expo. After the event, Amy shared an Indigenous Designs sweater and catalogue with the brand’s sweater knit team; by the end of the year, a partnership was struck to provide truly sustainable, organic and fair trade fashion.

Amy and Scott describe their partnership as an evolution. Indigenous Designs credits Eileen Fisher as a mentor that has helped it better itself as a company by achieving new levels of rigorous quality standards. Amy says EILEEN FISHER has benefited just as much from their partnership. With its first foray into the artisanal product world, the company learned what reasonable expectations were for the production timeline of an artisanal supply chain. “We’ve since moved into other artisanal vendor relationships in other countries, and we go into it now knowing what to expect, and not trying to replicate a conventional supply chain relationship,” says Amy.

“It’s so amazing that Eileen Fisher, as a really large business has been able to adapt to the fair trade model,” remarks Scott. He believes there’s a great opportunity now for the product he’s producing with Eileen Fisher. “If you spun back the clock to 15 years ago when we started out, I’m not sure the market was ready for organic cotton clothing and fair trade fashion. Now the time is right, and there’s been a great coming together from Eileen Fisher and Indigenous to put forth a product that is super premium that the market and the consumer are ready to perceive.”