A Conversation with a Sustainable Fashion Brand: Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective is a sustainable fashion brand based in Seattle, Washington. We got to learn more about their environmentally and socially responsible initiatives including their new closed loop manufacturing program, ReGirlfriend, in this interview.
Tell us a little bit about what Girlfriend Collective is all about.
Girlfriend Collective: "At Girlfriend Collective, our goal is to divert as much single-use waste as possible from landfills, and turn it into something beautiful that can be worn again and again. All of our clothes are made from recycled materials in an SA8000-certified factory that promises fair wages, free catered meals, guided exercise breaks, and a safe and healthy workplace. We believe health and wellness come in many forms and carry a size range of XS-3XL for bras and XXS-6XL for leggings."
Your fabrics are made of recycled plastic water bottles, abandoned fishing nets, and waste produced by the cotton industry. Why is reducing waste so important to Girlfriend Collective?
Girlfriend Collective: "Most people don't realize this, but all synthetic activewear is made from plastic, but you can make a product that's just as beautiful and durable out of used plastic that would otherwise clog landfills or pollute the oceans. We aim to be a sustainable alternative to all the synthetic activewear out there. Additionally, we make it our mission to educate everywhere we can about refusing and reusing plastic — we believe if we work together, we can truly make an impact on the plastic epidemic."
"We aim to be a sustainable alternative to all the synthetic activewear out there."
Tell us about your new initiative: Recycle. Reuse. ReGirlfriend. Why was it important for Girlfriend Collective to create this take-back program?
Girlfriend Collective: "From the beginning, we designed our leggings to be able to be recycled into themselves. We never wanted to release something into the world without a plan for its end of lifecycle, especially given the huge amount of textiles that end up in landfills or gets incinerated. We're so thrilled it is finally here so our clothes can have an endless lifecycle, and our customers can feel confident in their item from start to finish."
Based on information from their website, they work with Unifi, a textile manufacturer in North Carolina, to shred the leggings, separate the polyester from the spandex, and regenerate the fibers into fabric for new Girlfriend pieces.