Congratulations are in order for Eileen Fisher, now the latest—and largest—women’s apparel company to be certified as a B Corp, or benefit corporation. Bonus: It can also claim the title of the largest B Corp company in the state of New York. “Eileen Fisher is proud and honored to become a part of the B Corporation community,” Eileen Fisher, the firm’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Being acknowledged for our work over three decades is a testament to our passionate commitment to social and environmental responsibility. This recognition allows us to take a bold step in sharing who we are and what we believe in, and to make greater impact in the world as a fashion industry leader.”
B Corp certification is to business what fair-trade certification is to, say, coffee, according to B Lab, a nonprofit body founded in 2007 to promote the triple-bottom-line approach—profit, people, and planet—to business.
B Corps are expected to meet certain standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, establishing bylaws that take into consideration their social and ecological footprints.
As a label, it offers an easily recognized shorthand for “socially responsible company,” one that is led as much by values as by earnings. So far, more than 1,500 companies across 42 countries and 130 industries have embraced B Corp status, including Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia.
“Social change is a team sport,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, “and it’s powerful to have iconic brands like Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s working together to use B Corp as a platform for their collective leadership in striving toward industry-wide and systemic change.”
Eileen Fisher’s certification follows the company’s 2015 announcement of Vision2020, a roadmap to achieve “100 percent sustainability” in five years.
Becoming a B Corp is just “another step” in Eileen Fisher’s journey to set the industry standard as a “force for positive change,” Fisher said.
“Being a triple-bottom-line business means putting a stake in the ground around our purpose and practices—and truly turning business into a movement,” she added.