Culture Sustainable Fashion These Basic Black Leggings Are Made From Recycled Water Bottles By Katherine Martinko Senior Writer University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Katherine Martinko Updated October 11, 2018 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Culture History Travel Sustainable Fashion Art & Media Holidays Community Your favorite clothing item just got even better. These new leggings from Girlfriend Collective tick all the boxes when it comes to eco-friendly and ethical production. Who doesn’t love a great pair of black leggings? This wardrobe basic has become hugely popular in recent years, as more women realize the versatility of a comfortable fashion item that can be used for everything from lounging to lunging to living it up at a party. The problem, however, is finding a truly good pair. We all know the disappointment that comes with buying a lousy pair that quickly pills, becomes baggy, or feels too constrictive. Finding one’s way through the glut of black leggings on the market can feel overwhelming. Enter Girlfriend Collective, a new company from Seattle, Washington, that has just launched its cornerstone product. The company is so certain that these will become your new favorite pair of leggings that they’re offering a promotion during the month of October – a pair of leggings for free, as long as you cover the cost of shipping. So why would you buy these? Girlfriend Collective (GC) sets itself apart from other leggings manufacturers for a number of reasons. First is its choice of fabric – recycled polyester (RPET) made from old water bottles. (There are 25 water bottles per pair of leggings.) They stay away from Lycra, the commonly used stretchy fabric owned by the billionaire Koch brothers, whose climate change-denying beliefs are at odds with GC’s founders. The founders explain: “The clothing isn’t just assembled ethically, it’s made ethically as well. We have our Oeko-Tex and Bluesign certifications, use natural dyes, and are currently sourcing a recycled material made from discarded fishnets to be incorporated into our full line.” Second, these leggings are made ethically in a Vietnamese factory that’s SA8000-certified. What does this mean? “SA8000 is a social accountability standard and certificate developed by Social Accountability International. SA8000 overlaps with Fairtrade certification in factory working conditions, but while Fairtrade is predominantly used for farming, SA8000 is a certification used in factory conditions. Our factories, certified SA8000, use zero forced or child labor, and always provide living wages and safe conditions.” Finally, these leggings will not disappoint when it comes to quality. They are designed to be high-waisted (12 inches from the crotch, which probably brings them above your belly button), so as not to ride down when you bend over. They won’t pill or get baggy, and are completely opaque. © Charlie Schuck for Girlfriend Collective Currently shipping to the U.S. is around $19.95, which may seem high for shipping, but really translates into a $20 pair of fabulous leggings that should last you for many years. Learn more here. It’s great to see companies like this one embracing innovative fabrics and insisting on better, more ethical production. The more companies taking a stance like Girlfriend Collective, and the more these companies are sought out by concerned consumers, the more hope there is for the entire fashion industry to move away from its current highly destructive methods of production.