My Favorite Eco-Friendly Leggings: A Girlfriend Collective Product Review

Sarah doing a handstand on Mt Ida

For most of the past five-ish years I have been wearing my Girlfriend Collective travel leggings on a near daily basis. No, travel isn’t “officially” in the title, but I’ve decided these eco-friendly leggings are an essential in my travel wardrobe and that I like to refer to them as such.

For most of high school and college, I hated jeans with a passion because I always found them irritating to my skin. My regular uniform is compromised of mostly black items and I am an expert of sorts in the leggings department. That being said, of the many pairs I have owned, my black high-rise compressive leggings from Girlfriend Collective are my all-time favorite. It’s important to me to consider the environmental and ethical impact of my travel gear. Thankfully, these leggings are eco-friendly and I feel great about wearing them around.

I was lucky enough to score a pair of the compressive high-rise eco-friendly leggings in black as part of Girlfriend Collective’s pre-launch years ago. Lucky for you, they are now released and easily available in tons of great colors, among other gear. (Windbreakers or bike shorts, anyone?) 

6 reasons this essential compressive high-rise should be the next pair of eco-friendly leggings you buy

  1. These compressive eco-friendly leggings are made from 25 recycled plastic bottles.
  2. Girlfriend Collective is SA8000 certified (the garment industry equivalent of fair trade) so these leggings are also ethically made.
  3. The leggings are incredible durable. Even after I’ve washed and dried them many times over 5 years, they maintain their elasticity and color, and remain form fitting.
  4. They’re high waisted! I love this feature when traveling because it means I can still pair them with my crop tops if I don’t want to show my stomach. AND I can nurse the belly aches that often accompany indulgent trips to street markets or cute cafes abroad. There are also less compressive leggings and shorts if you want something a bit looser.
  5. They is a tiny pocket on the inner, upper back side which is perfect for discretely carrying cash, identification, keys, or even a credit card while traveling. Sometimes it can be risky to carry a purse or backpack around because you stand out as having valuables on you. The option for leaving it behind and bringing the essentials in the leggings pocket is perfect for travel and daily errands.
  6. The fabric is quick-dry. Girlfriend Collective recommends washing the leggings on the cold-cycle and hang drying them, which they note reduces energy use and is the best method for the environment.

Click here for $10 off your first purchase

Bonus reason #1: Model Diversity

The GC models include women of all colors, shapes, and sizes. That can be rare to come by in the athleisure/yoga world, and I appreciate it’s been something they’ve focused on from the beginning. You’ll find some models who look like you on their site, I can almost guarantee.

Bonus reason #2: Earth-Inspired Options

The Girlfriend Collective’s line includes gray, orange, blue, and tons of other earth-inspired colors .

They usually make small batches of each type of item in every color, so you can always mix and match your favorite styles to get a stylish monochrome set. Essential colors include black, midnight, smoke, plum and moss, but there are regularly changing limited colors that make it hard not to want every version.

Who makes Girlfriend Collective leggings?

The textiles are made in Taiwan in a facility that specializes eco-friendly textiles. The garments are cut and sewn in a SA8000 certified factory in Vietnam that guarantees fair wages, safe and healthy conditions, and zero forced or child labor. Skeptical? Read more about their fair trade policies and sourcing right on their website, which is extremely transparent.

What are Girlfriend Collective leggings made from?

The GC online shop offers options beyond my fave compressive leggings, like leggings with pockets, maternity leggings, and a unitard! They also carry two styles of sports bras, tees and tanks, windbreakers, and shorts. Here’s what you’ll find inside each of those items.

Compressive Leggings + BrasMade from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex; leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles and bras are made from 11.
LITE LeggingsMade from recycled fishing nets and other waste using ECONYL® yarn, our LITE fabric is made up of 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex.
CuproTees and tanks are 100% cupro, a delicate fiber made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. The yarn is made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan, then constructed at their SA8000-certified factory in Hanoi.
Reusable PouchMmade with RPET, like bras and leggings.
Packaging100% recycled and recyclable.
All information in this table is taken directly from the Girlfriend Collective website.

Wondering what the reusable pouch is about? A lot of our clothes – and especially athletic wear – releases microfibers in the washing machine that get sucked into the ecosystem. And they’re damaging. If you wash you leggings in the reusable pouch, it helps trap those microfibers and keep our water ways clean!

I’ve taken my Girlfriend Collective travel leggings all over the world.

I brought these leggings to Asia and wore them more often than you’d think given the hot, humid temperatures at the time. I took these leggings to Seattle, Netherlands, Belgium, Florida, New York, and Portugal too. They’ve even been on a round-the-world trip with me, flying out of Chicago to Norway, going east till I ended up back home again in Indiana. (My Hoosiers will catch the reference).

I’ve brought them with me on every trip I can recall since buying them and you can guarantee they’ll be in my backpack when I catch my next flight.
Sarah wearing my eco-friendly leggings from girlfriend collective in seattle

In Seattle, Washington, visiting the Suitcase Six girls.

Sarah showing off my favorite eco-friendly leggings from girlfriend collective while doing a handstand on mount ida

Wearing my eco-friendly leggings on Mt. Ida in Colorado.

Sarah wearing girlfriend collective leggings to the airport

On my way to Portugal, with my boyfriend, Christian.

Sarah wearing girlfriend collective travel leggings in thailand

I have my leggings on here in Thailand, at the White Temple. This was a poor choice. It was incredibly hot.

Basically, Girlfriend Collective is kicking-ass from environment, to fashion, to diversity. If you are in the market for a new pair of leggings, I highly recommend this brand! If you’ve tried them, let me know if you agree or if you prefer another brand instead in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

My Favorite Eco-Friendly Leggings: A Girlfriend Collective Product Review