Company: Frank & Eileen
Location: Los Angeles, California
Industry: Wholesale/Retail Apparel
Final B Corp Score: 97.5
In celebration of B Corp Month, we asked Frank & Eileen’s Founder & CEO, Audrey McLoghlin, to share about the company’s journey of becoming a B Corp and how they do business better:
At Frank & Eileen, we believe women are changing the world. We believe in using slow fashion and sustainability. We believe in using entrepreneurship as a Force For Good. That’s why we are proud to be a woman-owned, women-led B Corporation.
Over a decade ago, Frank & Eileen set out to reinvent the button-up for women — a category previously focused solely on men. Sourcing responsibly crafted Italian menswear fabrics from day one, Frank & Eileen is committed to the world’s finest raw materials found in nature to create clothes made to be lived in and loved. Now a globally recognized fashion brand, Frank & Eileen has retained 100% ownership while working with the same ethical, sustainable manufacturers for over a decade.
Why was B Corp Certification important for you?
When I started Frank & Eileen, we were in the midst of the Great Recession and I had no money (negative money). I put my head down and focused on building the kind of company and brand that I wanted to see in the world. It was a long, slow, organic build with no partners, no investors. Thirteen years later, without warning, the world was changed forever when faced with a Global Pandemic. Having been born out of the hardest economic conditions in US history, we went into warrior mode, determined to find the strongest way to navigate the pandemic. Our first step after stabilizing our global supply chain was becoming B Corp Certified. The mandatory quarantine gave us the gift of our most valuable resource — time — and we used this to go through the rigorous process of becoming B Corp Certified so that we could communicate to our team, our partners, and our beloved customers the standards at which we operate every day.
What did you learn from the certification process?
We learned that our values over the first 10 years were critical to becoming B Corp Certified. We also learned how to take bigger steps in the next 10 years to make a deeper commitment to using our brand as a force for good. Going through the process opened our eyes to additional opportunities for improvement and additional opportunities to make an impact.
How did your company change by getting certified?
We were holding our breath waiting to see if we achieved the required B Impact Assessment score of 80 or above — when we received the second-highest impact score among globally recognized U.S. fashion brands, trailing only Patagonia, it was wildly inspirational to make an even bigger impact. It inspired us to pledge $10,000,000 over 10 years to support the female leaders of tomorrow. This has been a magical change internally and one that will make an impact in perpetuity.
In your own words, what does it mean to be a B Corp?
It means we can build and responsibly scale our brand in good company, with B Corp pioneers in the fashion space like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher having led the charge. We are grateful to them for paving the way and creating interest in brands being used as a Force For Good. For us, our passion is supporting the female leaders of tomorrow through entrepreneurial education. We are so grateful to B Lab for being the inspiration and north star to guide us in this endeavor.
What advice would you give to others considering certification?
Start early, be patient, and remember, “If it were easy, then everyone would do it.” At the end of all the hard work, you will have set yourself up to operate as a B Corp, as a Force For Good – and that feels good.
Frank & Eileen’s mission is to model and support female entrepreneurship as a force for good. This commitment to women’s empowerment, as well as practices such as using fully traceable and OEKO-TEX certified fabrics, are just a sampling of how Frank & Eileen does business better as a Certified B Corp. The company continuously aspires to provide high-quality products and closely engage its various key stakeholders to use business as a force for good.
Join the Community
Whether you’re just learning about B Corps or are already far along your journey, you’ll find opportunities to improve your impact as a business by getting certified or recertified as a B Corp.
If you have questions or would like to talk about B Corp certification, please get in touch with us using the form below.