If you’re like me, every day you’re bombarded with new ads on your social media and web pages, maybe for companies you’ve never even heard of before, its just the internet doing its creepy mind-reading thing. (Yes, I understand it’s algorithms and targeted advertising, but it still feels like the robots are in my head sometimes). I usually ignore these ads out of sheer indignation of what feels like my computer assuming things about me; but every once in a while one catches my eye and I take the bait for one reason or another. Girlfriend Collective was one of the ads that caught me.
Yeah, the leggings are cute as hell, but it was the information about sustainability that made me click on the ad and look into the company (damn you computer, you do know me). After reading every single piece of manufacturing information on their website, and there is a formidable amount, I decided that this was a company worth supporting and I ordered a pair of leggings and a shirt.
Not only does this company use post-consumer recycled plastic and waste from the cotton industry, they brought to my attention the revelation that some companies do not use post-consumer plastics to make their “recycled” clothing. Meaning, in an impressive and terrifying attempt to greenwash, some companies manufacture NEW plastic bottles, make polyester from them, and sell the clothing as eco-friendly, recycled clothing. I don’t know why this came as such a shock, but that was truly mind blowing to me.
Along with their responsible materials, Girlfriend Collective explains everything about where and how their clothes are made. The factory they use in Vietnam is SA8000 certified, and no, you’re not supposed to know what that means. They go into detail about the certification, the owners of the factory, the fact that the workers are paid 125% of the minimum wage, and that they all receive free healthcare. SA8000 certification ensures all the workers are safe, well-paid, and most definitely not children.
As if alllll of that wasn’t enough, their cotton Cupro (that incredible “slubby” material that makes everyone feel like a supermodel) is made in a zero waste, zero-emission facility in Japan before being sent to Vietnam to be cute and sewn into their tops. This is the stuff made from waste from the cotton industry that has previously only ended up in landfills. It also hangs off your body in cascades of effortlessness that make you look like an off-duty model/magical unicorn.
I could geek out on the ethical sophistication of this company all day, but it wasn’t until I tried on their stuff that I absolutely lost it. Y’all, it fits like a damn glove and makes me feel like a QUEEN. And btw, their sizing guide is basically just a bunch of different women that embody all the available sizes, so you can see how it will fit by comparing your measurements to the model wearing the size you want. Its fucking revolutionary.
Now, all these photos you’re about to see were taken with my phone’s self-timer, and I’m terrible at posing. But I DID IT BECAUSE THESE THINGS MADE ME FEEL LIKE I COULD. That’s saying something.
I personally enjoy being able to wear everything in my closet with almost anything else, so I gravitate towards grays, mauves, blacks, and other neutrals, especially for basics. I happened to be looking for a pair of basic black leggings to replace the 2 pairs of nearly see-through cotton ones that I’ve had since high school. When I add things to my closet, I take out at least double the amount I added. So, when I purchased these awesome leggings, I got rid of 3 pairs of black leggings that I either didn’t wear or were damn-near threadbare. As for the shirt… I admit, I didn’t need it. But I still managed to rehome two shirts that are in great condition to make room for the new one.
This whole capsule wardrobe thing is hard, and I hate the idea of dumping my clothes at a Goodwill, so I take my stuff to a local charity that has incredible turnover rates and takes care of their items and facilities much better. If you’re trying to change the way you shop, start by only buying some super sustainable staples, and try to pare your closet down from there.
The Verdict: Girlfriend Collective is my new first choice when I need staple items like leggings, sports bras, or t-shirts. They’re sustainable, ethical, and well-made products that make me feel like I stepped out of an closely-curated Instagram account. If you’re in the market for new workout clothes or basics to wear all the damn time, then I’d highly recommend this brand, ‘cause they’ve got their shit together.