Girlfriend Collective's first goal is to be as transparent as possible. They have chosen every part of the process, from the raw materials to the facilities to their partners, with care.
By using the recycled material as recycled plastic bottles (for polyester) and fishing nets (for recycled nylon), Girlfriend helps to clean our oceans, recycle that waste, and cut out the need for raw materials like crude oil, which are traditionally used in the production of nylon.
All of Girlfriend polyester textiles are made from recycled materials in their facility in Taiwan that specializes in eco-friendly and high-quality textiles.
From certified recycling and processing centers the material from post-consumer bottles and fishing nets are sent to the manufacturing faculty where the chips are consumed into pellets and all the way into a quality, thick yarn. The ready made yarn is then sent forward to the knitting factory and lastly to a dye house in Taiwan.
Cutting and sewing is the most human intensive part of making clothing, with 14 pairs of hands and eyes making each pair of Girlfriend leggings.
Girlfriend believes strongly that these should be taken care of.
Girlfriend's SA8000 certified factory in Vietnam pays living wages, provides fair working hours and safe conditions, allows unionization, and uses no forced or child labor. The GF team visits the factory regularly.
Girlfriend's factory is owned and operated by a Danish family who’s been in the textile business since 1931. Their SA8000 certified factories are dedicated to people rather than profits, which is why Girlfriend partnered with them.
The Danish partners opened up the Vietnam facility in 2005, bringing along with them values that have made them last for so long. This includes making sure every employee is treated with respect and paid a fair and living wage.
The facility is managed by a Vietnamese powerhouse of a woman named Hien. Prior to working in the garment industry, she worked at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Through the UNDP, she worked for reform in agricultural and rural development in Vietnam, helping rural farmers by organizing and building infrastructure projects and getting them access to new technologies.
An SA8000 certification guarantees a slew of really important stuff, including no forced or child labor, safe working conditions, and the right to unionize.
These standards should be where every single factory is, because Girlfriend sees it as a perfect platform on which to build. Which is exactly what Girlfriend has done.
Girlfriend ensures all workers are paid fair wages, provide both free catered lunch (and dinner for those who work the evening shifts) instead of just a lunchroom, and guided exercise breaks, because no one likes to stare at a desk all day (GF included).
While healthcare is often deducted from wages, GF decided to provide free health check ups every 6 months at the factory for every employee, as well as health insurance.
Girlfriend wants you to know as much about who we are and what we believe as possible, because the more you look at where things come from, the more you can be invested in where they go. That’s why we’re going to include, in full, every bylaw SA8000 puts forth for their certification.