Girlfriend Collective is an eco-friendly fashion brand that creates activewear. The company, which is based in Seattle, offers a completely transparent clothing line that operates with sustainable principles in mind. This is the company of our sustainable dreams, which brings together eco-friendly packaging with products made from post-consumer materials.
The company sources post-consumer waste from Taiwan. They receive plastic water bottles through a recycling program that the island has set up. The brand only uses BPA free plastics to make their garments. The used plastics go through processing centres to clean them and break them down. Girlfriend Collective also works with a third party brand, which tests the fabrics to ensure that they are safe.
In addition to outlining the complete process by which their activewear is made, Girlfriend Collective features their policies on employee standards on their website. The brand expresses their policies on not engaging in child labour or forced labor, while highlighting the health care that they provide for their workers.
While the brand’s efforts may seem perfect, there are always aspects of producing eco-friendly garments that will leave room for harm at certain stages of the product’s life span. With Girlfriend Collective’s garments, it is the washing stage that may allow micro-fibres to be released back into the water system. While the brand is working on how to fix this issue, they highlight that all synthetic fabrics produce these micro-fibres. Though they strive to be as eco-friendly as possible, for now, laundry bags like this will be a consumer’s best attempt at reducing the amount of micro-fibres that get released into the environment.
Girlfriend Collective has impressed us with their ethics and sustainability from their ability to use recycled water bottles to their company’s policies. After reviewing the measures they have taken, there are serious questions that remain regarding how sustainable it may be to upcycle synthetic materials. Ultimately, we would argue that it is better to try and reuse these materials than to risk sending all of our waste to landfills.