Although many people claim they have nothing to wear while digging through their closets for an outfit, there’s an immense amount of clothes that get wasted as clothes wither and tastes in trends change. Girlfriend Collective’s Recycle Reuse ReGirlfriend initiative is encouraging its customers to recycle its athletic apparel in a way that lets them shop for even more leggings and sports bras.
If you haven’t heard the word on the street, Girlfriend Collective is an athleticwear brand that believes in sustainability first. The brand was first introduced in 2016 in which all of its products are all derived from recycled plastics and redesigned for comfortable athletic apparel. Now, the brand is ensuring that its purchased products see a second, third, and beyond lifespan.
On Aug. 19, the brand announced in a press release that it is launching its new recycling program where customers have the option to turn in their old Girlfriend Collective clothes in exchange for money towards a future GC purchase. Hoping to reduce textile waste, the brand is offering customers a $15 credit for sending in any of their old compressive leggings, shorts, or bras to be broken down into yarns and redesigned for a new Girlfriend Collective piece. In the words of the athletic brand itself "it's new stuff made from old stuff ... made from old stuff."
Getting paid to recycle is kind of a big deal, and if you’re someone who lives in athleticwear, this might be the program for you.
According to HuffPost, the average American will toss out 81 pounds of clothing per year, which ultimately evens out to 26 billion pounds among everyone ending up in landfills. Not to mention, it can take up to 200 years to decompose clothes.
"Closing the loop and making your pieces completely renewable is the holy grail for clothing— we believe this is the future,” said Girlfriend Collective cofounder Quang Dinh in the press release. "We want to upcycle water bottles and recycle clothes. We upcycle single-use water bottles into clothing you can reuse and wear for years— now we're going to be able to recycle that clothing into new clothes."
Per Girlfriend Collective's FAQs section, the brand explains that with leggings, everything polyester in a piece is reused for a new product, zipper, thread, and all. Once the piece is shredded, the polyester is separated from the spandex to create a new Girlfriend Collective piece.
However, for those who want to get in on this initiative, customers who want to have their old athleticwear recycled, you can only send in the brand's compressed products including its High-Rise and Classic-Rise Leggings, Bike Shorts, Run Shorts, Topanga Bras, Paloma Bras, or Monroe Bras.
Being that fashion is one of the top industries that contributes to waste and pollution, it's important that more brands are taking the stand to improve the way fashionistas limit (and eventually eliminate) waste. But let's be real getting paid to recycle your clothes to buy more clothes sounds like an awesome deal for a socially-aware fashion lover.