Between cute animal videos, my Dad’s daily dose of political outrage, myriad articles, and ads, my Facebook feed is quite crowded these days. Despite the numerous items competing for attention, one promotion seemed to be everywhere last year — a small new brand called Girlfriend Collective was launching with just one style of eco-friendly, fair trade certified black leggings. The start-up claimed each pair was made from 25 recycled plastic water bottles in an SA8000 certified factory in Vietnam, which their site explains “guarantees a slew of really important stuff, including no forced or child labor, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize.” Plus, it was offering a free pair to anyone who signed up — all you had to do was pay the cost of shipping.
Though a little dubious, our curiosity was piqued (as were many others), so I clicked “order,” handed over $20, and settled into a looong wait. Ellie Dinh, who founded Girlfriend Collective with her husband Quang, told Refinery29 that the brand received 10,000 orders on the first day of the promotion alone — thus far the leggings have reportedly diverted a whopping 6.5 million water bottles from landfills. That kind of volume was challenging for a young start-up, so customers faced up to a few months of waiting; I was no exception. When my leggings finally arrived, however, it was definitely worth the wait. I went in-depth on my love of the fit — the fabric’s blend of spandex compressed in all the right places, while still being comfortable enough for a cozy night of Netflix-ing from one’s couch.
After weeks of teasing its e-commerce launch to followers on Instagram and Facebook, the brand's website went live today, along with several new styles of Girlfriend Leggings, which include the original high-rise and mid-rise; both come in a ¾ option, with a price range of $58-$68. Additionally, it's launching two bras, The Paloma and The Topanga, both being sold for $38.
“We wanted our price points to be accessible for as many people as possible, because we know that one of the difficulties with high-quality activewear is the astronomical price tag," Dinh said. "We believed we could give the highest quality with socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing without the expensive prices. And hey, we can!”
Starting this Wednesday for the next three weeks, the brand will be taking pre-orders for limited runs of each style (several thousand units) in three new colors, to ship out in 30 days. And don't worry if your favorite piece sells out; there's a waitlist that'll notify you when they’re back in stock. Currently, the leggings are available in Powder Blue, Black, and Ivory — click on to see those, as well as a sneak peak at what's to come.