Based in Seattle, Washington, Girlfriend Collective - a direct-to-consumer fashion label offering environmentally and socially responsible athletic and leisure wear - makes all products using recycled materials including post-consumer water bottles, fishing nets retrieved from the seas, fabric scraps, and other waste. The packaging, too, is recycled and recyclable.
It's interesting how the fashion brand was founded and named. When Ellie Dinh was having trouble finding women's leggings that were made using ethical processes, she perceived that there was a market opportunity for ecologically conscious activewear so she and her husband, Quang Dinh, subsequently decided to create a sustainable fashion brand in 2017. Since they wanted the label to represent diversity and inclusion in womenswear, and community was very important to them, the duo coined the fashion label's name ‘Girlfriend Collective’.
Based in Seattle, Washington, Girlfriend Collective - a direct-to-consumer fashion label offering environmentally responsible athletic and leisure wear - makes all products using recycled materials including post-consumer water bottles, fishing nets retrieved from the seas, fabric scraps, and other waste. Moreover, the packaging is recycled and recyclable too.
Where did founders Ellie Dinh find inspiration? She was having trouble finding women's leggings that were made ethically. Seeing a market opportunity for ecologically conscious activewear, she and her husband, Quang Dinh, decided to create a brand in 2017, and Girlfriend Collective took shape. Since they wanted the label to represent diversity and inclusion in womenswear, and community was important to them, the duo coined the fashion label’s name ‘Girlfriend Collective’.
Since synthetic activewear is made from plastic, the team makes activewear with materials that would otherwise clog landfills. This includes post-consumer water bottles that have their labels removed, are crushed into billions of minuscule chips, and then washed. After polymerization, it gets transformed into a soft, recycled yarn.
Sustainability is deeply ingrained into Girlfriend Collective’s pillars. All textiles are made from recycled materials in a number of facilities across the globe. The primary recycling partner in Taiwan specializes in eco-friendly, quality textiles while the core sewing partner in Vietnam is SA8000 certified, guarantees fair wages, and ensures safe working conditions. Importantly, all recycled fabrics are certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which regulates harmful substances.
As soon as the spinning mill takes the delivery of raw PET chips from the recycling center, the bags of chips go through another wash.. Once they are dried, the chips get sent to a machine where the chips get heated up and extruded into long thick strands. From there, they are chipped down to little pellets, reheated and extruded again to make fine threads that are spun into their yarn, packaged, and sent to their knitting factory.
The dyeing process is not environmentally destructive. Every single drop of water that is used to dye fabrics gets sent to a wastewater treatment plant. There, the water gets treated to separate out OEKO-certified safe dyes and stray fibers. The dye mud is sent to a pavement facility, where it’s used for paving stones, making sidewalks better for the community.
To enhance transparency and provide customers with information about their products, Girlfriend Collective has a "Garment Life Cycle" feature on their official website, which allows consumers to learn about the materials used in the products, where they are made, and how to properly care for them to maximize their lifespan. The team also shares all certifications with consumers. Their factory is SA8000 certified, which assures that their operation adheres to regulations that keep factory employees well-paid, safe, and healthy.
In addition to their focus on sustainability, Girlfriend Collective is dedicated to creating inclusive and diverse products. They offer a wide range of sizes, from XXS to 6XL, to ensure that their clothing is accessible to women of all body types. The brand also promotes body positivity by featuring models with diverse body shapes and sizes in their campaigns and they offer a wide range of sizes, from XXS to 6XL, to cater to women of all body types.
Not happy with the product you bought? The team accepts unworn, unwashed items with the tags in place within thirty days of the shipping date. Once the return has been scanned in or dropped off and confirmed, the collective will process the refund to its payment source, initiate an exchange, or issue store credit as requested.
Girlfriend Collective’s mission statement is to make sustainable activewear for people who care about how their clothes are made. By using ethically manufactured activewear and recycled materials to make a stylish statement, founder Ellie Dinh aspires to help people lead more sustainable lives.
‘From fiber to fabric, we need to look at every step and make sure we know its impact.’
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
Activewear, innerwear and a few styles in outerwear
- Official website of Girlfriend Collective Girlfriend Collective
- Official Facebook account of girlfriend Collective Facebook
- 15 sustainable clothing brands to help you feel better about your closet CNN
- Official Instagram account of Girlfriend Collective Instagram
- Meet Ellie Dinh Okreal.com
- Forbes profiles founder Ellie Dinh Forbes
- Lightbox features Ellie Dinh Lightbox
- Brand who deserve your dollars: Girlfriend Collective The Tufts Daily
- Fabric Guide at Girlfriend Collective Girlfriend Collective
- Building a Sustainable Fashion Brand: the Story Behind Girlfriend Collective Medium
Ellie Dinh (Founder)
Fashion and Textiles
Retail and Consumer Goods