After wearing three different styles (my longest for 2 years), I thought I’d finally do a post with my Girlfriend Collective bra review!
I have SUCH an unabashed crush on Girlfriend Collective. I first heard about them back in 2017 when I was visiting my friend, Kate, in Atlanta. They had had a huge launch campaign where they sent you a free pair of leggings and all you had to do was pay for shipping. Kate received hers while I was there, and I had mentally bookmarked the company should I need some new yoga leggings later on.
Well, fast forward to 2019, and I did, in fact, want to a new pair. I messaged Kate to see how she liked hers 2 years later, and she still loved them, so I emailed Girlfriend to see if they wanted to collaborate! Initially, they gifted me their Paloma bra and compression leggings in, I think, cocoa or maroon, and it’s been love ever since. I’ve gone on to buy from them three more times, and I’m eyeing a fourth for when I head home!
Here’s my super (probably unnecessary) in-depth review to help you decide if you want to buy a Girlfriend Collective bra.
About Girlfriend Collective
Before I get into the bras, I do want to talk about the brand itself. As you guys know, it’s important to me that I’m buying from brands that are trying to do good in the world, not trash it in the pursuit of profit margins! This is why I’m so obsessed with Girlfriend. Marketing wise, they are definitely a cool girl brand. You can see it in their product color choices; the way they photograph their models, the sales copy on the site… It’s as though Glossier turned its sights on athleisure. The twist, though, is that they prove you can manage that branding with a variety of women; not just the wispy ones who somehow never need real support in the chest area, and being insanely in depth in your ethics and commitment to sustainability! Whoddathunk? Here’s exactly what I discovered from their website:
Alright, my first hurdle, is this brand sustainable? Mostly, yes! I mean, no surprise considering that was the main motivation behind starting the brand, so it’d be pretty sad if they succumbed to fast fashion.
Now, if you read my eco-grading guide, sustainable to me focuses specifically on manufacturing practices, product design, and how local the production is to you. In the perfect world, you can walk down to your local market and buy a cotton dress made from your local tailor who bought the fabric off a local weaver who gets their cotton from a local cotton farmer. Obviously, that is not a realistic expectation.
As for Girlfriend, I would say for the most part, yes, they’re very sustainably made. Obviously, I’d love if they had a way of moving manufacturing to the US. However, I know they discussed doing a ton of research and finding Asia really is the place for their mission. They’ve also made sure their manufacturing is as sustainable as possible.
As for product design, I’m not sure yet if their leggings and bras will last forever and ever. I’ve had my stuff for 2 years and worn them a lot in the grossest, sweatiest of conditions. So far everything has held up extremely well.
Yes! While their fabric is made in Taiwan, the clothes are made in a factory in Hanoi, Vietnam. According to their FAQ, Vietnam’s garment industry is known for its activewear abilities vs other countries, including the US.
The factory has an SA8000 certificate, which is basically Fair Trade standards and guidelines specific to factory conditions. They listed the whole thing in their about page if you want to dig in!
It goes without saying, but this certificate means their factory covers every worker’s right you can imagine, including things like no forced labor, ability to unionize, and safe working conditions.
Furthermore, they start employees at 125% the local minimum wage, offer catered lunch and/or dinner based on the schedule, and even offer guided exercise breaks. They also offer free health check ups ever 6 months as well as health insurance, and the factory manager, Hien, formerly worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to reform agricultural and rural development in Vietnam.
Yes! Girlfriend uses different methods, which they go over in detail here. Their most unique factor is that they make their fabric from post-consumer water bottles, mostly sourced from Taiwan. Their specific fabric (and polyester in general) comes from something called Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). If you see RPET below, this is what they’re referring to, the R standing for recycled, of course.
While they’ve expanded quite a bit into sweats, shirts, socks, etc, they stay true to using the most-eco-friendly, sustainable fabrics they can find and they have a little sustainability report on all their product pages.
As for dying their fabric, they use eco-friendly dyes and have an airtight wastewater management system. Their treatment center is 100 feet away from their factory. Once it’s treated and meets standards, the wastewater is released into the nearby streams. The “dye mud” that comes from the treatment is then sent to a pavement facility for sidewalks, etc instead of a landfill.
I seriously can’t get over how much thought has gone into their eco-friendliness! It goes without saying but the cute pouch your clothes come in is made from RPET and all their packaging is 100% recyclable.
They cover more in detail in their FAQ here, and if you still have questions, I’m sure you can email their support to ask as they really emphasize their transparency.
To further add to their eco-friendly mission, they also have the ReGirlfriend program. You can send them your old Girlfriend compressive pieces and get $15 toward your next purchase. They then break down the fabric for new Girlfriend pieces.
And the last hurdle! While being super size inclusive isn’t a dealbreaker for me (though being actively body shaming is), I do appreciate brands who are able to cater to those who are smaller than an XS and larger than XL.
Girlfriend has to be one of the most body positive brands I’ve ever seen. They flat out prove that you can be have those cool girl aesthetics at any size, shape, age, and color. The fact that many of their items go up to 6XL, and they regularly work with a diverse range of models should be something every company copies. Just glance through their IG if you want to see their stuff in action.
My Girlfriend Collective Bra Review
Considering I’ve brought from them multiple times and plan to buy again, I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan! More specifically, here’s some things to keep in mind:
I’m a 38B. For the most part, I wear an XL. For the longer bras I’d want for exercise, I prefer in an L. I do think the Lou is a bit too small on me in a L. However, the Paloma is perfect in the same size. It depends on your boobs, so I’d check the reviews to see what they mention in terms of fit.
I’ve had my Paloma bra for two years now, and I wear it frequently to workout. It’s still in great shape and I never have to worry about it being too thin or feeling less supportive. To be honest, I could see it lasting quite a while before really showing any wear, and even then I know I can recycle it via ReGirlfriend!
Pricing & Quality
I find the pricing of Girlfriend to be more than fair considering how much emphasis they put on ethical manufacturing and sustainable practices. To compare, I have some other bras from Old Navy and H&M and while they’re okay, I definitely can feel the difference between then and Girlfriend in terms of quality and fit! The quality is amazing, and I’m always surprised by how nice recycled bottles can feel!
Since I started buying from them, they’ve definitely expanded their range by a lot! I swear there were like 3 bra choices when I got my Topanga bra and now there’s at least 6 styles I would call their classics and 4-5 I’d call their newer or more experimental bras.
Below I made a little comparison graphic so you can see all the classic bras laid out, but below I have more of a breakdown of each style:
They’re all pretty different! I’ll go into detail below:
A Breakdown of the Classic Girlfriend Bras
The Paloma bra is the OG Girlfriend bra, and by far my favorite of the three styles I own. It’s longer, which for me makes it more comfortable and flattering. It’s very supportive, and I’ve worn it for all sorts of workouts, runs, walks, yoga sessions, and more! I actually bought it in black as well, but I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet because it’s at my parents’ house.
Buy if you’re looking for a great all around bra for working out and you’re venturing into the sports bra only look and aren’t quite comfortable just yet. The fuller coverage makes it feel more like a top than just a bra!
The Topanga Bra was my second purchase! I wanted a bra to throw on for lounging, and I was intrigued that this one seemed like it could easily work as a cute top with shorts and sandals. Like the Paloma, it’s longer than a normal bra, but it has a higher neck and criss-cross adjustable straps.
I will say this bra is definitely a whole different fit but it does do what I want it to do. The fabric on the font seems a bit thinner so that it can be a bit nipply, and the high neck means you’re more prone to side boob, so I’d size up. I wear mine to hangout, go for a walk, and do some yoga in. But it definitely doesn’t hold up with any jumping, bending, or running. I’d probably purchase it again if it weren’t for another bra on this list that I want to try or similar reasons!
I got the Lou bra to try one of Girlfriend’s regular length bras out. I did make the mistake of ordering an L when I would’ve been better with an XL, so the fit isn’t as nice as it could be. Still, I find it holds up well when it comes to higher impact workouts, and it’s pretty much in my mix of sports bras! I still like the Paloma better, so if I were to buy again I’d just buy that instead.
The Simone bra promises to be the most supportive with cups, adjustable thick elastic straps, and at three prong hook-and-eye clasp at the bottom. Admittedly, this is the one I’m lease interested in as I prefer sports bras with little to no adjustment options, but I’m curious to see how it people who do more intense workouts or longer runs like it.
The Dylan bra is the one I’m most intrigued by! It’s similar to the Topanga bra expect it promises more support and instead of a criss-cross back, it has a racerback one. Definitely want to try in either a fun color or black to wear with shorts in the summer.
I’m so down to try the Tommy bra. I think the square neckline is so cute, and it’s supposed to be good for medium impact works as well!
These are just my guesses based on what I’ve seen come and go in their inventory! Who knows? These might all become Girlfriend staples by the time you’re reading!
The Bianca bra is definitely meant for more comfortable style than to be functional workout gear! It’s a one-shoulder bra and good for low impact exercises. I know it was available in some fun colors before. However, at the moment it’s only available in black and white.
FLOAT Cleo Bra
I’m not super sure of the different between FLOAT fabric and the normal fabric, but Girlfriend promises more lightweight.
The Cleo bra is longer and looks like it could double as a cute crop top. It has a sort of round open neckline and higher back with thin straps.
FLOAT Lola Bra
The Lola bra is also made with the same FLOAT fabric, and I’m pretty sure it used to come in the normal fabric too. It’s a shorter cut with a V neck and racerback shape.
FLOAT Juliet Bra
If I were to try a float fabric, the Juliet bra is the one I’d try! I’ve been wanting to find a bra that would be good for long plane rides. I think this would fit the bill best of all the Girlfriend bras on this list! It’s a shorter cut with a criss-cross back (but more coverage in the back vs the Topanga bra) and has thin straps.
And there you have it! My Girlfriend Collective bra review. I’ll be sure to keep this up to date with any more styles I try! Have you tried Girlfriend? What do you think?
For more packing posts, read these next:
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- 11 Fall Wardrobe Essentials Everyone Should Own
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