April 8, 2022

In our Associate Spotlight series, we are highlighting associates across the company who are shaping our community and who embody our Life at Centric philosophy every day. This National Volunteer Month, we are excited to recognize the associates who have dedicated their time to volunteering with our local charity partners and are committed to making a difference in our communities.

Meet Frank Casillas, Technical Designer, Men’s Denim for Joe’s Jeans.

What is your role at Centric Brands?

I work in design. My official role is Men’s Technical Designer for Denim / Design Assistant at Joe’s Jeans.

Why is building community important to you?

Community is everything. Whether it’s your own community, at home or the one you have at work – a healthy community makes everything possible. It is the foundation on which all relationships, professional or not, are built. 

I don’t like the idea of simply going to work, being there for a majority of my day and not once knowing or being involved with anything going on outside the walls of the building. Our team makes it a point to walk out to lunch on certain days to different locations and in doing so, we have met other people, business owners and creatives who work and live in the community around us. On the way to a favorite lunch spot of ours, we recently met a store owner named Michael who creates and sells custom furniture for clients in a store front warehouse. In chatting with him one day, he revealed some of his clients are very famous clothing designers who have frequented his store. We also recently discovered our work building is situated very closely to another famous ex fashion designer who now specializes in restoring vintage Porsche cars in his private garage. It is gems of information like this that you would never know unless you were making an effort to be apart of the surrounding community. 

Have you previously volunteered with Centric Brands? If so, what impacted you the most from that experience?

Yes! Our men’s team here volunteered at Covenant house of California in Los Angeles in December. We wanted to give back during the holiday season and Centric brands made it possible to volunteer there, which is close to us and in our immediate community. We donated gifts and decorated trees for the residents there. But, the best part of volunteering was we were given an extensive tour of the facilities and services provided at Covenant House LA. It was impressive and at the same time eye opening to see what it took to keep the doors open. Not only the financial aspect, but the service and hours being contributed by the surrounding community, was impressive. 

What steps can we take, as individuals and as a company, to make the fashion industry more sustainable? 

When hearing this question, it’s very easy to think large scale. What we can do on a large scale like sourcing more eco, sustainable or recycled fabrics. Using and creating eco-friendly trim and hardware with vendors and companies. Viewing your supply chain under a microscope and eliminating any unnecessary waste.

But I like to think more small scale, more hyper local. Things I can change with what I immediately touch everyday like cups, utensils, paper, samples, fabric swatches. If I can start there and make sustainable changes there, it starts a process where everything else is viewed through that same lens. It becomes easier and better yet, it becomes habit. We have for example started off with something as small as making sure we don’t print anything that can be viewed digitally (since visually its more accurate anyways) to something more substantial as requesting all our vendors to stop the use of poly bags in our shipments. 

Tell us about a hobby you enjoy outside of work and why!

I recently took up running last year in 2021 in an effort to be more active and stay healthy. It started simply as a way to drop some pandemic acquired wright but it’s a full on hobby now. Working from home had allowed me some time, which I dedicated to walking, which soon turned into jogging, which has now become running. It’s become a sort of strange therapy that has helped me focus and has relieved me of any stress from the day. Trust me, I feel strange just writing this!