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Look and feel good with water bottle-based leggings from Girlfriend Collective

Why it matters to you

Fashion and environmental activism don't always go hand in hand, but they certainly do at the Girlfriend Collective.

These leggings have already diverted 6 million post-consumer plastic water bottles from the landfill and they are just getting started. Meet Girlfriend Collective, a company taking advantage of our love for spandex to the benefit of the planet. After a nine-month promotion involving free leggings (yes, it’s true, you just paid the price of shipping), the Collective is getting ready to launch its full collection. If you missed out on the leggings before, you won’t want to make the same mistake come spring.

So what is so special about these leggings? For starters, they are the only product offered by Girlfriend Collective (for now, at least). So if you’re at all a believer in quality over quantity, this is the company for you. But not just any old leggings — these articles of clothing not only look good but are good for the planet. When you don a pair of Girlfriend leggings, you’re actually donning 25 recycled plastic water bottles from Taiwan. Specifically, they’re made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, the technical name for polyester yarn and fabrics.

But beyond the source of the material, where that material goes is just as important. “Cutting and sewing is the most human intensive part of making clothing, with 14 pairs of hands and eyes making each pair of our leggings. We believe they should be taken care of,” Girlfriend Collective notes on its website. All the company’s leggings are made in a factory in Vietnam, which promises to “treat every employee with respect and guarantee the highest level of compensation and worker health.”

The SA8000-certified facility ensures that the factory maintains safe working conditions, gives workers the right to unionize, and allows for no forced or child labor. Moreover, Girlfriend Collective’s minimum wage in Vietnam begins at 125 percent of the local minimum wage for new employees.

“When we started Girlfriend Collective we knew that we wanted to get away from fast fashion that strips the world of its resources and ends up in landfills,” the company says on its website. And it looks as though it’s quickly meeting its goal. In just a couple months, you will be able to order your own pair of Girlfriend Collective leggings and this is one purchase you can feel good about — body and soul.