In 2016, Girlfriend Collective launched a marketing campaign on their sustainable black leggings that went viral. After understanding that there were people who cared about transparency through the production process of clothing, Girlfriend Collective knew their vision for a company sided well with this community. In 2017, GF Collective went on to launch their full range of sustainable sports bras, leggings and tops.
Girlfriend Collective has defined the term ”slow-fashion” through their transparent practices from fabric sourcing and all stages in between leading up to the final product. Sourcing post-costumer clear water bottles from Taiwan, also once known as “Garbage Island,” is the first step in their fabric sourcing process. Girlfriend Collective’s leggings and bras are made from #1 plastic, which turns into Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET.
The plastic bottles are melted into tiny pellets in which further get melted and spun into thread (of course after going through a cleaning process several times.) Unlike many other companies, several are known for cheating the system and using new bottles to fake the post-consumer bottle use idea. However, this is not the case for Girlfriend Collective, a true pioneer of the post-consumer water bottle waste reuse.
As for the dying process, Girlfriend Collective uses eco-friendly dyes. Girlfriend Collective closely monitor’s their wastewater which gets sent to a water treatment plant only 100 feet from production. Once at the treatment plant, the water separates out the OEKO-certified safe dyes and any of the stray fibers.After testing, the Taiwanese EPA notes when and if the water is safe to release.
Girlfriend Collective uses a SA8000 certified factory, where employees come first before profits. Each employee is paid a fair and living wage. This certified facility is strict on prohibiting child labor, provides safe work conditions for employees and allows for unionizing. Girlfriend Collective provides free healthcare check-ups every 6 months and health insurance coverage for the employees working at the facility. Girlfriend Collective also provides these workers with catered lunches and 125% of the local minimum wage pay, with guided exercise breaks. Not only is Girlfriend Collective committed to their impact on the planet but also importantly, their impact on human life.