It’s a sad reality for those of us who love fashion that textiles have one of the worst recycling rates of any reusable material. In fact, according to the EPA, 11.3 million tons of textile waste went to landfills in 2018. Just 2.5 million tons, or less than 15%, were recycled.
Alarming statistics like these can make one feel a bit hopeless—how can a single person topple literal mountains of wasted clothing?
One person can’t, but maybe a collective can make a dent. Enter Girlfriend Collective, a brand of workout and loungewear that has launched a trade-in initiative, making it significantly easier to play a small part in reducing textile and plastic waste.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, ReGirlfriend
Not only does Girlfriend Collective make its entire ReGirlfriend line with 91% recycled plastic bottles (RPET), but the brand also allows you to return old ReGirlfriend items in exchange for store credit. Just purchase their $7 shipping label, send in your old garment, and Girlfriend Collective will recycle your old clothes into new pieces and give you $15 credit towards something new. The brand is closing the waste loop that consumer fashion usually leaves wide open.
Girlfriend Collective also takes special care to reduce emissions and water waste throughout the production and shipping process. Other reasons to love this brand: it’s size-inclusive, features a wide range of colors, and has tens of thousands of glowing reviews. Saving the planet has never been easier (or more stylish and comfy).
Our Favorite Eco-Friendly Picks
First up, the ultimate loungewear piece: leggings. The ReSet Lounge Legging is moisture-wicking and quick-drying, making them perfect for all-day wear, including working out. They feature no outseams for a sleek look. And they even have a bonded pocket at the back waistband (because all leggings should have pockets, period).
These leggings are peached on both sides, which gives them a buttery soft feel of other cult-favorite brands. Except these leggings are cheaper, made with sustainable materials, follow humane business practices, and can be recycled into new clothing when you’re through with them.
Like the ReSet leggings, the line’s long-sleeve tee fabric is a 91% RPET, 9% spandex blend. It features the same extra buttery feel and sweat-wicking capabilities. Dress this scoop-neck, fitted tea down with sweats, or pair it with jeans and a blazer for a chic, comfy look.
Each Girlfriend Collective fitted long-sleeve tee diverts 15 water bottles from landfills, prevents 18.85 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, and saves 3.34 kilowatt hours of energy. That’s enough energy to charge your phone for a year.
The recyclable joggers offer the roomy feeling of sweatpants with the form-hugging fit of leggings. They feature elasticated, cinched cuffs and a fabric waistband. So you can keep things as loose or tight as you like. These versatile joggers save 6.93 kilowatt hours of energy and prevent 39 pound of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
“This is what dreams are made of,” one customer wrote. “Don’t even get me started on the material. They are SO buttery soft. I now understand the hype. Apparently, I should have bought them in every color because I now live in them.”
The Collective’s website calls the ReSet Relaxed Tank a workout tank, but let’s be real. This lightweight jersey tank is also perfect for a casual, on-the-go look with jeans or under a blazer for a cool (both literally and figuratively) professional vibe.
Hundreds of happy customers raved about the tank’s buttery soft feel. Another fan-favorite feature is the tank’s round hem, which provides perfect coverage in all the right places.
In addition to its ReSet recycling program, Girlfriend Collective offers 30-day returns. But as hundreds of happy reviews suggest, you’ll probably fall in love with your ReSet clothing like they did. And once it’s inevitably time for a closet cleanout, you can ship them right back to Girlfriend Collective so they can make them into someone else’s favorite piece.