To Be Frank only makes clothing that meets with their Innovation, Responsibility and Transparency goals, and so it was a real delight when we got chance to sit down with founder Frankie Phillips, to find out more.
Frankie, why did you decide to form and launch To Be Frank?
Well, I’ve always worked in fashion and after living and working in China I saw the effect that clothing manufacturing was having on local communities and the environment, and I knew then that I had to help change it for the better.
I was working directly inside factories and knew how to find solutions to both water pollution, and the way that people were being treated.
It’s a great name, where did the name come from?
The name came from being honest and transparent. Honesty is the most important factor in sustainability. The brand is now one year old and it’s a brand for everyone.
Sustainability is usually aimed at a specific gender, and those with the smallest waist and the biggest pocket!
I wanted to change that. We make clothes out of other brands rubbish and waste, and we see great beauty in doing that.
What’s your overall goal?
I want to inspire and deliver change. I find new ways to create and innovate fabrics that help find solutions and new ways of doing things. I like to challenge the norm.
What does it mean to you to be working alongside Generous APE?
When it comes to sustainable fashion, it is about partnering and supporting each other. It is great to be part of the GenerousAPE community, that is bringing like-minded businesses together. It’s all about sharing the same goals and principles, and supporting each other to get there quicker and more effectively.
Why do so many people not consider the environment/sustainability when shopping?
Brands and retailers don't always tell the truth. They hide where fashion actually comes from, because they either don't know, or they don't want to know.
People however do want to know, and we have to be honest with them about that.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is being chosen to be part of the Cambridge Accelerator Sustainability programme. The second is working closely with numerous factories when Covid-19 hit, and retailers cancelled orders. I supported our factories that we work with not only to operate in a safer environment, but also to reuse fabrics that had been abandoned through cancellations.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about creating an emotion that forms a reaction and connection.
I would like to have a positive impact on the people I work with. People are not always treated very well in the supply chain, so respect is something that I insist on. Sustainability is all about survival - for our planet and our communities that feed off it. Without respect and honesty, it will not work.