In 2016, Girlfriend 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 and ethical manufacturing, they knew their vision for a company sided well with this community. In 2017, GF Collective went on to launch their full range of sustainable activewear, including leggings and tops.
The brand has defined the term ”slow-fashion” and sustainability through their transparent practices from fabric sourcing, ethical manufacturing 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. Their athleisure like their squat-prooflegging and supportive bra are made from #1 plastic, and old fishing nets which turns into Polyethylene Terephthalate, PET.
When you purchase a pair of leggings you are recycling!
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 them, a true pioneer of the post-consumer water bottle waste reuse.
As for the dying process, they use eco-friendly dyes. They closely monitor 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 wash dyes and any of the stray fibers.After testing, the Taiwanese EPA notes when and if the water is safe to release.
They use 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. The company provides free healthcare check-ups every 6 months and health insurance coverage for the employees working at the facility. The company also provides these workers with catered lunches and 125% of the local minimum wage pay, with guided exercise breaks. Not only are they committed to their impact on the planet but also importantly, their impact on human life.
It is recommended to wash your Girlfriend activewear in a micro fiber bag.