Meet Girlfriend Collective: A Size-Inclusive Brand Turning Plastic Bottles into Chic Activewear

Updated May 17, 2022
Photo of three models sitting on the floor in Girlfriend Collective bathing suits.

For those of you who (like us) have been living in athleisure wear for the last 2+ years, allow us to introduce you to your new favorite brand. Girlfriend Collective is an eco-conscious athleticwear brand that's all about transparency, sustainability, and inclusivity - and boy, do they practice what they preach! Not only are their styles super comfortable and timeless, but they are made from recyclable materials, in ethically run factories, and available in sizes XXS-6XL.

Nope, Girlfriend Collective Isn't Just for Girlfriends

First and foremost we should tell you that Girlfriend Collective (GC) is not solely a womenswear brand. The company values inclusivity and keeps the lifestyle needs of all at the forefront of its brand mission. A novel concept, to be sure. After all, how often have you visited an athleticwear site and seen only super-thin fitness models posing in perfect hair and makeup? Perhaps these are meant to be "motivating" but let's be real: very few of us actually look like that.

This is why GC made sure its models reflected the diverse world we live in. Instead of blurred, heavily edited images, you'll see the faces and bodies of real people you could know. You'll see freckles, women styled in menswear, tattoos, and people from all walks of life proudly modeling clothes available in sizes XXS-6XL.

Photo of two models seated on the ground and stretching in Girlfriend Collective athleisurewear.

A (Transparent) Process We Can Get Behind

Not only is GC dedicated to inclusivity, but they are on a mission to educate consumers on sustainability by offering almost unheard-of levels of transparency into its process.

For instance, their primary factory in Vietnam is SA8000 Certified, meaning they provide fair wages, safe and healthy conditions for their employees, and zero forced or child labor. Additionally, their recycled fabrics are certified by the lead fabric testing company, Oeko-Tex, which ensures that consumers know exactly what contents make up each recycled fabric. Because just as it's important to know what you're putting into your body, it's important to know what you're putting on your body as well.

GC products are made from recycled plastic bottles which are cleaned, sorted, and chipped prior to being heated and spun into yarns that then become fabric. They even use eco-friendly dyes to maintain their commitment to sustainability. After the dyeing process, GC donates the dye mud so that it's recycled and reused for sidewalks and roads. (*insert mind blown emoji here*).

Yes, this is "slow fashion," but that's the point. It's fashion you can feel good about that will help our planet in the years to come. (If you're interested to learn more, you can read about nearly every detail of GC's process here.)

Four female models posed in Girlfriend Collective clothes.

Sustainable Solutions You Can Feel Good About

GC devotees can take part in the brand's "Recycle. Reuse. ReGirlfriend" program where you can send back your well-worn GC goods to be properly recycled with just the purchase of a $7 shipping label. In return, you'll earn a $15 store credit and the knowledge that you're doing good for the planet since only 1% of clothing is recycled each year.

Not-so-fun fact: Did you know that all synthetic fabrics shed tiny pieces of plastic called microfibers in the wash and that these microfibers end up in our oceans? It's true. For those looking for a solution, GC sells The Microfiber Filter, which attaches to your washing machine, collects these microfibers, and prevents harm to marine life.

Standout Collections We Love

Sporty Swim

New and improved (and back by popular demand) the Sporty Swim line includes bikini tops, bottoms, and one-piece swimsuits that were thoughtfully designed to fit every body. Made from recovered fishing nets from the ocean and recycled post-industrial waste, this collection is exclusively available on GC's website and available in five colors.

Photo of three female models posed in Girlfriend Collective swimsuits.

The Compressive Collection

A staple collection at GC, the Compressive line is made of recycled water bottles and includes sweat-wicking leggings, dresses, tops, skorts, shorts, and outerwear. Clothing from this collection can be worn as compressive support while exercising or just as a cute outfit while running errands.

ReSlide (Sandals)

These fully recyclable slides are available in several neutral-tone colors to fit your outfits and moods. Made from old shoes, scrap material, and bio-based material containing soy, ReSlides have a zero-waste design. These slides are also lightweight, waterproof, and slip-resistant to get you from point A to point B in comfort and style.

Men's + Relaxed Styles

Offering several comfortable, relaxed pieces including joggers, hoodies, tees, and shorts, these items are mainly made from recycled plastic bottles and performance jersey. And don't mistake the name of the collection as only being for men - this collection is for all and is available in sizes XXS-6XL.

Maternity Styles

As stated on their website, this collection was "Made by a Mother-to-be for Mothers-to-be." It includes super stretchy leggings, shorts, and tops to keep expectant mothers comfortable throughout their pregnancy. Pieces from GC's maternity line are made from recycled fishing nets, nylon, and performance jersey.

Meet Girlfriend Collective: A Size-Inclusive Brand Turning Plastic Bottles into Chic Activewear