22.01.2022

Everyone on Instagram is obsessed with this sustainable and diverse activewear brand

Why? Firstly, every piece in their (now extensive and ultra-colourful) collection is insanely comfortable – with their ⅞ Compressive Leggings the star of the show.

Granted, their cycling shorts top the most-wanted lists of every influencer and her Dachshund too, but their highly-coveted high-waisted leggings are the most popular. Not only are they practically invincible (one reviewer said she’d been wearing the same pair, numerous times every week for the past three years and they were still going strong), but they’re shaping, seamless, soft, sweat-wicking and they don’t fall down. Ever.

Buying activewear that makes you feel confident, doesn’t break the bank and lasts for years has long been one of life’s greatest challenges. If we had a pound for every time we have tested a pair of yoga pants that slipped with every squat and sagged around the crotch, we’d be *very* rich people.

But these days? It’s pretty easy. And that is – in part – down to the work of one inclusive and sustainable brand. They first launched back in 2016 when the buzz around their activewear was palpable – but the noise they create remains just as loud today, especially over on Instagram. We’re, of course, talking about Girlfriend Collective.

Let’s cast our minds back to their launch. They did something that most brands would never do: they ran a promotion to give their leggings away for free. Why would they do that? What’s the catch? Surely they can’t be that good? But the world quickly realised that they were. There was no catch. They simply wanted to let their customers fall in love with the brand before investing. And they did.

Secondly, Girlfriend Collective has sustainability at the forefront of their minds in everything they do. In fact, they describe themselves as the Earth’s number one fan. Their packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable (don’t throw it away when you’ve placed your order!), their Compressive Leggings and sports bras are made from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, and their LITE leggings are made from recycled fishing nets and other waste.

Oh, and their t-shirts and tank tops are crafted from 100% cupro, a delicate fibre made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. They said: “Our yarn is made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan, then constructed at our SA8000-certified factory in Hanoi.” Impressive, right?

Thirdly, they’re inclusive. They don’t just say they’re for everyone – they show they’re for everyone – through their choice of imagery, their social media and their campaign shots. Their sizing goes from XS to 6XL, and the range of models they use in their campaigns is incredibly diverse. A quick scroll through their Instagram feed shows their activewear modelled by women and men of all sizes, ethnicities, ages, races and skin tones.

Some are pregnant, some have cellulite and stretch marks, and some have skin conditions such as vitiligo. As we all become more aware of our consumer habits off the back of the Black Lives Matter movement, there’s no better time to support a brand who is doing their bit.

All things considered, you’d expect Girlfriend Collective to be painstakingly expensive. But it’s not. The price point is about what you’d expect to pay for good-quality, long-lasting workout clothes that look good enough to wear to brunch and don’t sag. The Compressive Leggings are £62, the sports bras are £35 and the cycling shorts are £40.

So where can you buy Girlfriend Collective? Back in 2018, summer dress treasure trove Reformation teamed up with Girlfriend Collective to start stocking their chic gym leggings and supportive sports bras – since both brands are eco-conscious and then some. You can still shop for Girlfriend Collective on Reformation today, as well as on activewear retailer The Sports Edit (they have the best stock right now) and luxury fashion e-tailers Net-A-Porter and Selfridges.

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