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Candice Reffe

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Candice Reffe
Blue Flower Initiative

Organization: Eileen Fisher Inc.

What is Blue Flower Initiative?

The Eileen Fisher Blue Flower Initiative (BFI) reframes the existing textile values chain as a sustainable eco-industrial co-operative with a paradigm shift from competition to collaboration.

THE PROBLEM

There is a huge impact to modern manufacturing; we use the earth’s finite resources. We chase low wages and low prices. We contribute to global human migration, human trafficking, staggering quantities of landfill, global water scarcity, water and soil pollution, and to persistent and concentrated poverty. Business and consumer demand continues to feed this broken system.

THE INNOVATION

Inspired by biomimicry, the Blue Flower Initiative pilots a three-pronged living ecosystem comprised of a sustainable values chain, a bio-based fiber innovation called e-cose and a focused commitment to prosperity and empowerment of women and girls. The transparently-governed model, located in economically deprived communities, will create regional eco-industrial cooperatives. Workers would be integral in assessing impacts, developing processes and making decisions. The e-cose fiber, a sustainable alternative to viscose, will be sourced via recycled cellulose from secondhand clothing that would come from growing Eileen Fisher’s take-back program, Green Eileen.

“Here’s a wild idea for a quantum leap in scaling this innovation: invite Diane Von Furstenberg, a predominant fashion user of viscose, to partner with us in this initiative. During year one, we plan to engage strategic partners in developing e-cose, with the goal of conducting production test-runs in year two.” – Candice Reffe, Eileen Fisher

Stage of Innovation: Concept

THE VISION

The Initiative’s vision is to prototype the concept and take this bold experiment to scale. Milestones toward that vision include conceptual buy-in from potential partners, ongoing investment in systems mapping to support sustainable design and feasibility studies. BFI is looking to prototype their ‘value chain of the future’ in the Bronx in New York and seeking partners.

“We seek to take our bold experiment to scale. To make an impact that invokes and insures the wellbeing of our great, great grandchildren and our blue flowering planet. For this we need you to LAUNCH us with your expertise and access to resources and collaborators who can not only make the Blue Flower Initiative bloom, but also accelerate the adoption of this unprecedented model so that it will truly transform the planet.”– Eileen Fisher, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Eileen Fisher

Download the Blue Flower Initiative forum presentation

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