Sancho’s is the home of sustainable fashion and ethical lifestyle products. Our Black woman owned business is based in Exeter, UK where we believe in doing better, providing sustainable and affordable clothing options. Through activism and spreading awareness, we are working towards a kinder world. Shop our Transparent Pricing collection here, our Organic Cotton Bestsellers here and read more About Us here.
Why We Love Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective are not only one of the bestselling brands at Sancho’s, but also one of our favourites to stock. They promote inclusivity and conscious shopping through their ethically made active wear. Plus, their recycled PET Compressive High Rise Leggings have received some of our best reviews because of their soft, comfortable fit that stays up during exercise, allowing you to feel and perform at your best. We are diving deeper into how Girlfriend Collective activewear is made to tell you everything you need to know about the sustainable brand.
How Do We Know That Girlfriend Is Made Ethically?
Girlfriend Collective’s compressive leggings and sports bras are made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex. They use recycled post-consumer plastic bottles to make their polyester. This means that each pair of leggings diverts 25 water bottles from going to landfill and each bra diverts 11.
To make the ethical polyester, they collect post-consumer water bottles, remove their labels and lids, and sort them by colour. These are then crushed into billions of miniscule chips, and washed until they are sparkling clean. The chips are then transported to their manufacturing facility where they are made into pellets which are transformed into superfine threads and spun together into yarn. From there they are spun onto large bobbins, packaged, and sent to the knitting factory. This process requires time and precision, so the knitting machines can only produce around 100 pairs-worth of fabric in a 24-hour period. This means that you know that the ethical activewear is of a high quality and made to be durable.
Their fabric dyeing process is also sustainable as the fabric is dyed with eco-friendly dyes. The waste water is then cleaned and cooled before it is released. Girlfriend Collective even donate the dye mud to a local pavement facility where it’s recycled into sidewalks and roads!
This process can result in some irregularities in the colours which means that they recommend washing your new leggings with similar colours first just in case they run.
Where is Girlfriend Collective Active Wear Made?
All of their fabrics are made from recycled materials at their factory in Taiwan, which is owned by a respected Taiwanese family that have been at the forefront of the recycling industry for decades. They specialise in eco-friendly and high-quality textiles, which are then cut and sewn in one of their partner facilities that was chosen for their ethical values. Girlfriend Collective chose to produce their activewear in Taiwan because this is where some of the best manufacturers for high-performance fabrics are located.
Taiwan is also the perfect location for sourcing all of the post consumer water bottles as it is a world leader in recycling with 55% of their waste being recycled. Taiwan once struggled to clean up mass amounts of waste resulting from rising living standards and soaring consumption. This led the government to transform the way that their waste was handled. Recycling has become a community activity in Taiwan. People gather each night to sort their waste and connect with eachother.
Plus, the Girlfriend Collective facility is certified by the Taiwanese government which means that security measures are implemented, and each facility is held accountable for how much plastic is taken in and shipped out.
How Is the Factory Run?
The core factory is located in Hanoi, Vietnam, and is SA8000 certified. This certification guarantees fair wages, safe and healthy conditions, and zero forced or child labour. Girlfriend Collective can promise that their workers are well-paid, safe, and living healthy lives. Their workers are also provided both free catered lunch (and dinner for those who work the evening shifts) instead of just a lunchroom, and guided exercise breaks. As well as free health check ups every 6 months at the factory for every employee, and health insurance. When you buy active wear from Girlfriend Collective you know that it is ethically made with care.
What are the Girlfriend Collective Fabric Certifications?
SA8000 was developed by Social Accountability International, and made to protect workers worldwide by providing a guide to protect workers’ conditions and wages.
Their recycled fabric is certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, the world’s leader in testing fabrics to regulate harmful substances. This means that the fabrics contain no harmful substances so that you know exactly what you’re putting on your body. Girlfriend Collective recommend washing your synthetic activewear in a washing bag or filter to prevent the microfibers from entering streams and the oceans. This protects the wildlife that lives there.
Girlfriend Collective stands out as a brand that takes inclusivity very seriously. They have done many things to show their customers that they care about them. Their product descriptions and adverts feature models with a range of sizes, ethnicities, ages, races, and skin-tones. Plus, many of their images feature models with stretch marks and skin conditions such as vitiligo. This shows that they want their brand to make everyone feel comfortable. At Sancho’s we stock Girlfriend Collective in sizes XXS to 5XL, making it our most size inclusive brand. We want everyone to find activewear that is the right fit for them which is why we will always sell this line.
Also, Girlfriend Collective claim that the majority of their colours are 100% sheer-proof, other than their lighter colours which they recommend wearing underwear that matches your skin tone just in case.
We are extremely excited to announce that we are releasing a new range of Girlfriend Collective activewear online soon! Our new collection features a wider range of styles and colours of sports leggings, bras, bike shorts, and shorts. As well as many staple pieces. The new colours and styles are perfect for Spring so that you can be active and sustainable in style. Shop our full range of Girlfriend Collective online now.
Written by Hannah Judge