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I learned about the perfect leggings from a girlfriend when she rolled up looking impossibly polished in stretchy pants and a muscle tee and ready for our farmer’s market outing last fall. Then I saw them on another girlfriend — and then another.
At the time, the Seattle-based company Girlfriend Collective was giving away its totally opaque, comfortable leggings for just the price of shipping (about $20). The deal started as early as last May and was limited to just one pair per email address, though most savvy folks could finagle ways to repurpose their addies and score multiples.
Earlier this year, GFC ended its experimental giveaway period and opened an online shop. It now touts various colors of the same great leggings (available in mid- and high-rise cuts) with kinfolk names like toasted apricot, sand dollar, and powder blue. There are also two bra styles for purchase.
But let’s talk about the OG Girlfriend Collective black legging — the one that’s remarkably versatile. Obviously it’s most ideal for a yoga class or tackling yard work, but add some lipstick and ankle boots and you can wear those babies to a swanky cocktail bar. And, if you feel guilty for wearing what is technically athleisure to the office or other non-gym setting, well, don’t.
The brand’s factory in Taiwan has specialized in earth-friendly textiles for the past three decades. The core fabric is created from post-consumer water bottles and broken down into a blend of recycled polyester and spandex (for measure, each pair contains 25 recycled water bottles). The result is a material that breathes while keeping everything in place — it’s like a sports bra for your butt.
If you have Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that the army of GFC evangelists is strong. Co-founder Ellie Dinh told Refinery29 that the brand took cues from Glossier and Reformation in how to build an audience. “We’re approaching our advertising organically via social media and on some traditional display or sponsored posts,” a spokesperson told Racked over email. However, she adds, “We think the best way of experiencing any brand is organically, and we typically prefer to have our reviews come from people who have genuinely encountered our brand and given their earnest feedback.” In this case, that’s me.