Giving Back: AEO Better World Community Day 2016

This year marks American Eagle Outfitters’ fourth annual AEO Better World Community Day. On Thursday, June 9th, more than 1,000 associates from our corporate offices in Pittsburgh, New York City, San Francisco, China, Hong Kong and Mexico volunteered their time to over 30 different community organizations worldwide. We visited everywhere from the Pittsburgh Zoo to local food kitchens to nature preserves. Check out the below images from our day of volunteer work across the world.



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Every year, we work hard to make this day of giving better and bigger, so that we can make a huge impact in helping lives and saving the planet globally. Many of our Community Day projects are grantees of the AEO Foundation. All of the organizations we volunteered with received a monetary donation from AEO as well.

Tell us how you are giving back to your community in the comments below. 

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AEO Community Day Photo Diary Recap

Every year, hundreds of AEO associates from around the world take time out of their workweek to give back to their communities. From helping out in garden centers, to feeding animals and playing with students, AEO is making a difference. Take a look at our associates in action from Pittsburgh, to New York and beyond and start volunteering today.


Photo Credit: Notorious17


Stairway to south side

Photo Credit: Sarah B. Pittsburgh Associate


Photo Credit: Elise F. Pittsburgh Associate


Photo Credit: Heyyojorae


Photo Credit: gingerlinds1


Photo Credit: lisamrusc

How do you help out your local community? Tell us in the comments below.


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Giving Back: Teach for America

As a company, we believe in supporting youth empowerment and education, so when it came time to select an organization to support, Teach For America was a natural choice. If you’re not familiar with Teach for America, you should be. Teach For America is a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who commit a minimum of two years to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.

Teach for America Teach for America

In October, Marcie Eberhart, Director of the AEO Foundation, along with AEO Style Director, Preston Konrad and Lauren Rourke, Manager of Styling, visited a classroom at New York City public school Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School, also known as WHEELS, to talk fashion and the importance of education. WHEELS, founded by Teach For America alumnus Brett Kimmel (Houston Corps ‘96), serves 650 students in grades six through 12, nearly all of whom are people of color and 100 percent of whom are growing up in poverty. The school is posting impressive results; students exceed the citywide average pass rates on the Regents exams and 100 percent of their graduates have been accepted to college in the past several years. Preston and Lauren spoke about their journey through the fashion industry, eventually landing the job of their dreams at AEO, and spent time answering the students’ questions.

Teach for America

The entire junior class received a free pair of AEO Jeans.

Teach for America

Teach for America

This holiday season, we’re asking you to help give back. When you purchase an AEO gift box in stores for 50 cents, you will help a child in need. 100% of proceeds from gift box sales will be donated to Teach For America (up to $100,000) to sponsor 18 classrooms for one year.

Teach for America

Teach for America

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AEOBetterWorld Community Day

This past Tuesday, Nearly 1,300 associates from American Eagle corporate offices volunteered their time to give back to their local communities in Pittsburgh, New York City, and San Francisco, as well as in Canada, Mexico, China and Hong Kong. Some associates planted trees, created park benches, spent time with children, while others attended animal shelters and food banks. Associates volunteered for over 30 community projects to make a positive impact. Check out the photos below and start volunteering in your community today! Want to see more photos? Follow #AEOBetterWorld on Instagram to see over 500 photos!


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Guest Writer: Jennifer Gilbert, Chief Marketing Officer @ I:CO

Did you know that almost every piece of your clothing or pair of shoes is reusable or recyclable? It’s true but every year, billions of pounds of these items end up in our landfills, causing harm to our planet. American Eagle Outfitters and I:CO  (a global closed loop textile recycling company) want to help change this by making it easy, convenient and instantly rewarding for everyone to give their unwanted clothing, shoes, and accessories new life. AEO ICO Display 3

 “Live Your Life. Save Your Planet.” Collection Box.

Starting today, you can drop off those old kicks, that worn-out pair of jeans or hopelessly out of style threads into I:CO boxes at any of the 800+ American Eagle Outfitters US and Canada stores. In return, you’ll be rewarded with a text code for $5 off a pair of AEO jeans.  Every item collected helps the planet, and any proceeds from the program will be donated to the Student Conservation Association, empowering new generations of environmental leaders. What happens to the items once I:CO receives them? We re-utilize, renew and regenerate them. Items are sorted using over 350 different criteria to determine their most effective next use. This could be finding a new home as second hand clothing, reuse as cleaning cloths, recycling into fibers for carpet padding and insulation for the building and automotive industries or up-cycling into new fabrics and products. This is what we call “closing the loop.”

Clothes Sorting Upclose 72 dpi

I:CO Team sorting thru the donated clothes

Denim Recycled Scrap to Fiber 180 dpi

My hands with recycled fiber

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Finished product- Cotton T-shirt

The vision is for all products to be designed with future uses in mind, so materials can be 100% reused in a truly endless cycle.  By doing this, we will eliminate waste, preserve vital material resources, protect our environment, and enable everyone to consume in a more sustainable way. It all starts with making a simple change in behavior. We are excited about the impact the “Live Your Life. Save Your Planet.” recycling program will have on American Eagle Outfitters communities throughout North America. I believe each of us has the power to change our environment.  So go clean out your closet and come help us build a better world.

Recycle. Reward. Renew. Repeat.

To learn more, please visit

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Earth Day: DIY

Reuse, Reduce and Recycle your #AEOStyle! To celebrate Earth Day, we spoke to Sr. Stylist, Coco Yokoyama, about her tips and tricks for turning her old AEO gear into something new. Check out her step by step guide for repurposing a pair of denim with an old scarf. The best part about this project — it’s only five easy, earth-friendly steps!


Materials You’ll Need:

  • Pair denim pants
  • Scissors
  • Fusible fabric tape
  • Scarf or other fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Iron
  • Tracing pencil or marker
Earth Day DIY

The only materials you’ll need to make an old pair of jeans into a super cute pair of shorts!

Step 1:
Measure the length you’d like your shorts, then cut.

Earth Day DIY

Tip: Don’t go short right away, cut a little longer than you’d like so you can readjust the length if you need to.

Step 2:
The fabric will begin fraying where you cut, pull the strands to encourage fraying, then run shorts through the washer and dryer.  This will accelerate fraying and make them look vintage.

Step 3:
Place fabric on top of shorts and trace the size of the front panel, around the pocket.  Leave a bit of room on the bottom for more fraying to occur.

Earth Day DIY

Pick a scarf or fabric that will really pop.

Step 4:
Follow the instructions on the fusible fabric tape to adhere fabric to shorts

Earth Day DIY

You’re almost done!

 Step 5: 
Admire you’re new denim shorties!

Earth Day DIY

Voila! Earth friendly and super stylish #AEOStyle.

Want to find more ways to celebrate Earth Day?  Donate now to The SCA and RSVP to a community project near you!

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