Brands We Love: Girlfriend Collective

In the newest installment of our Brands We Love series, we do a deep dive into The Girlfriend Collective, an ethical and sustainable activewear company.

Brands We Love: Girlfriend Collective

Brands We Love: Girlfriend Collective 1500 1488 Lindsey Polevoy

When shopping for clothes, it can often be so difficult to find a brand that abides by your values. It can take hours to research different company practices, and most of the time, it’s just easier (and cheaper) to buy fast fashion. 

Well, look no further than Girlfriend Collective. Based out of Seattle, Girlfriend Collective is an affordable, ethical, and sustainable athleisure/activewear brand that was launched in 2016 by wife-husband duo Ellie and Quang Dinh. 4 years later, they are quickly taking social media by storm and revolutionizing the field of marketing. 

So what makes Girlfriend Collective so special? Here are a few reasons why we love them. 

Screen capture of the Girlfriend Collective Recycling and No-Waste Initiative.

Screen capture of the Girlfriend Collective Recycling and No-Waste Initiative.


1. Company Practices

They’re eco-friendly.

From products to packaging, Girlfriend Collective is as eco-friendly as fashion gets. Just look at their products — each one is made from recycled materials that would otherwise end up in oceans and landfills.

Some fun facts about Girlfriend Collective: 

  • Each individual pair of compressive leggings is made from 25 recycled water bottles; sports bras are made from 11. 
  • Their new LITE leggings are manufactured from recycled fishing nets and other types of waste. 
  • Tees and tanks are made entirely from Cupro, a fiber that is produced from cotton industry waste. 
  • All dyes used in manufacturing are eco-friendly and leftover dye mud is donated to local pavement facilities.

So what about packaging? They must use plastic, right? According to the Girlfriend Collective website, their packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable!

And just to ease your conscience, you won’t have to throw out your GF products either. With the ReGirlfriend program, you can send in your old Girlfriend Collective clothing and the material will be made into brand-new fabric. It doesn’t hurt that you receive store credit in exchange!

They’re ethical.  

Girlfriend Collective’s factory in Hanoi, Vietnam is one of 4,645 that is SA8000 certified. SA8000 is a top social certification program and standard that is granted by Social Accountability International to organizations that model their dedication to the fair treatment of their workers. 

For more information on SA8000 certification, click here.

All workers and employees at Girlfriend Collective are also guaranteed fair wages, health insurance, and free healthcare checkups at the factory every 6 months. In addition, they’re offered free catered lunch and/or dinner as well as guided exercise breaks.

They’re transparent.

With Girlfriend Collective, you won’t have to spend hours digging for information on their policies and practices. One of the company’s main values is full transparency, and it shows. Everything from published certifications to videos of the manufacturing process can be found right on their website. 

Screenshot from the Girlfriend Collective Instagram of Comfort Zone Series.

Screenshot from the Girlfriend Collective Instagram of Comfort Zone Series.


 2. Corporate Responsibility & Empathetic Marketing

Something we love about Girlfriend Collective is that they use their platforms for Good. On their Instagram (@girlfriend) and company website, they are always going the extra mile to promote social causes and empower women.

In addition to working with and donating to various nonprofits, Girlfriend Collective has multiple social/environmental initiatives:

Everyday Activists

In this series, Girlfriend Collective highlights 8 amazing women who are currently doing work to promote change in their community.  Along with giving interviews on their stories, these women also modeled for the new Everyday GF collection.  


With #goodjobgf, GF encourages its base to do purposeful work for the environment. The instructions are simple: you’ll earn 100 points if you tag @girlfriend in GF clothing and use #goodjobgf on a photo of you volunteering, planting trees, cleaning up trash, etc. 

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone is a video series found on the @girlfriend Instagram page about female entrepreneurs and business owners. In each video, the entrepreneur discusses her own story and why it’s meaningful. Girlfriend Collective makes sure to promote the business itself and direct followers to its page.

Honest Motherhood with Elise Peterson

In Honest Motherhood, Girlfriend Collective creates a community for new moms to talk about the challenges of motherhood and offer support to each other. This series is hosted by Elise Peterson and can be found on their Instagram reels. 

Not only does their social advocacy help to inform and empower others, but it also is an essential part of their marketing strategy. Girlfriend Collective does an amazing job of showcasing the benefits of empathetic marketing — putting yourself in your customers’ shoes to understand their values. By using social media to promote various causes, they are able to attract socially conscious consumers (who just so happen to be their target demographic). 

Image from the Girlfriend Collective Website.

Image from the Girlfriend Collective Website.


3. Visuals

Overall, Girlfriend Collective’s brand aesthetic is true to the 21st century, reflecting their company as both contemporary and innovative. 

With simple and refined imagery, GF is brimming full of understated elegance — just like their clothing. Their website is not overcrowded, standing as a prime example that less is more. Instead, they place focus on the images of the models themselves and the merchandise that they wear. 

Girlfriend Collective’s palette is made up of soft, neutral colors, such as moss green, plum purple, and shades of grey and navy. As for the font, it’s sleek and typewriter-like. Both the typography and color palette give an impression of a modern and mature brand.

One especially important aspect of GF’s visuals is its use of a diverse set of models. Women of various body types and colors are seen all throughout their website and Instagram pages, emphasizing that all women, no matter their differences, are beautiful. Girlfriend Collective also has stated that their photos are never retouched or altered. 



Next time you want to shop for bike shorts, sports bras, crop tops, or any type of workout apparel, consider checking out Girlfriend Collective. With ethical and sustainable manufacturing, quality material, social responsibility, and amazing branding, they are definitely a great brand to support!


Instagram Handle: @girlfriend

About the author

Lindsey Polevoy

Lindsey Polevoy is part of the Editorial Team at Kairos Design and a senior at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey. In her free time, she loves to write plays (comedy much preferred to drama), binge watch new television shows, and spend time with her family, friends, and dog Max. On winter weekends, you’ll probably find her up North, skiing double black diamonds and hopefully not wiping out. 

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