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Heritage brand Johnstons of Elgin achieves B Corp status

Chloe Burney
09 May 2023

Royal Warrant holder Johnstons of Elgin has successfully achieved B Corp status, in recognition of its commitment to innovating social and environmental change.

Scottish-based Johnstons of Elgin has garnered a reputation for its expertise in natural fibres. The 1797-founded business combines quality and craftsmanship to create fine cashmere and merino wool products in its Elgin and Hawick mills.

The company is celebrating its latest achievement, becoming a B Corp, during its 225th anniversary year. This reinforces the community purpose that has been a feature of the business for generations and centuries.

Johnstons of Elgin underpins its commitments with documents declaring the brand’s intentions to benefit "its members as a whole and through its business and operations, to have a material positive impact on society and the environment".

For a company to attain this status, it requires total transparency on environmental and social factors. The business must benefit not only its stakeholders, but also "the suppliers, and employees whose lives depend on the company".

In the UK, there are 120 family-owned firms among the 1703 B Corp-certified companies. Worldwide, there are 6,693 B Corp businesses. Once obtaining B Corp status, brands and businesses are required to recertify every three years.

Chris Gaffney, Chief Executive of Johnstons of Elgin, commented: "Our team at Johnstons has done great work to get us to the point where we could meet the stringent criteria required to become a B Corp, and this, in turn, has made us a better company.

"There remains much work to do, but it is very fulfilling as a Chief Executive and a Board to be so clearly empowered by our family owners to make decisions that will continue us on a journey to becoming a fully sustainable company."

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