I came across the brand The Girlfriend Collective and I needed to share it. Fit For Earth is about living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
I'm going to say something really controversial here. To me, personally, Body Positivity was a movement that was supposed to celebrate our flaws and recognise that we were beautiful regardless of marks or scars or missing limbs or sizes that didn't fit in with the mainstream media. I loved the start of the Body Positivity movement. As a recovering anorexic and someone who suffered with acne and acne scarring (hyperpigmentation), Body Positivity made me feel human. Something that I didn't feel for a long time.
The Body Positivity movement has since morphed into something else that I no longer recognise or want to support to be completely honest. I feel and have also been told that I'm not allowed to be positive (I can't be apart of the "club") essentially because I'm too small/"skinny". Which,as a former disordered eating sufferer does a lot of damage but in the reverse, because I'm still being told my body isn't good enough. YEAH, THANKS MATE.
So when I came across The Girlfriend Collective, my heart skipped a beat. They feature models of different races, of different sizes, with unshaven armpits (personally not my gig, but go on and live your best life!!!) and models with vitiligo. To me, this is true body positivity. Celebrating female beauty, no matter what package it comes in.
The Girlfriend collective makes monotone activewear for people of all shapes and sizes. From a sustainability point, the fabrics are made using recycled plastic bottles (I believe the leggings are made from 6 plastic bottles alone), they use environmentally friendly dyes and the water used is recycled.
Basically, the production of the goods has a much lower carbon footprint as their methods of production and the materials used are much more eco-friendly than their competitors. Lastly but equally as importantly, the products are made in the US under fair wage legislation. No slave labour here.
THE FITNESS TEST
To make this test completely fair, I did the following types of exercise:
Strength training (weightlifting)
Long-distance running (5-8km)
Strength training - THESE ARE NOT SQUAT PROOF
Well, they are and they aren't. I got red and smoke (sports bra and leggings). The smoke is squat proof and I dare say the darker colours would be. The red definitely wasn't so I'm going to assume that the lighter colours won't be either. Also, the material isn't thick enough to mask the texture of your underwear. So if you're gonna wear these, wear seamless undies, preferably a thong. It is what it is.
HIIT and Long-distance running - NOT ALL BRAS ARE CREATED EQUAL
I'm going to cram these into one because there's a lot of jumping and bouncing involved. The Topanga bra (I got in red) is NOT for high-intensity exercise and running. To be fair, they did say as much but I don't want to use this bra for one type of exercise and that type for something else. I wanna go to my sports drawer, grab what's clean and GO. The Topanga is meant for low-intensity walks, hikes, yoga and looking cute. The Paloma bra (I got in smoke), on the other hand, held me in very well for all my running and jumping activities. That being said, I'm a proud member of the IBTC (Itty bitty titty committee) so women who have more upstairs might struggle. I'd test it out first if I were you.
Hiking and Yoga - YES YES YES YES YES!!!
I've done two hikes and several yoga sessions (in each set) and they're awesome. They're not the most moisture-wicking if I'm being honest (DO NOT ATTEMPT BIKRAM YOGA IN THESE). But they're super comfy, super stretchy and feel luxurious. Honestly, they're probably the best leggings I own.
This is where we come undone. It's about £32-35 for a sports bra and £62 for a pair of leggings. I couldn't get the bike shorts I wanted, they were all sold out. But for a set (a pair of leggings and a sports bra) you're paying around £100. This has nothing to do with the brand itself but is a reflection on the sustainability movement as a whole. While sustainable clothing brands continue to charge "niche" prices, these items of clothing will be largely financially inaccessible for the foreseeable future. I understand that paying fair wages and implementing sustainable business practices comes at a higher price point. Yet it's a vicious cycle because people who simply can't afford to pay £100 for leggings and a sports bra will go to places like H&M and Amazon. It is what it is. We need more brands to jump on board the sustainability train. When everyone is doing it, it's no longer "niche" and the price will (hopefully) come down.
Is the brand expensive? Yes. Are they more for low-intensity exercise? Yes. Will I continue to buy from this brand even though I'm poor and lost my job thanks to the COVID-19 epidemic? Also yes. No brand is without fault and if the only thing I can really throw at it is the price then the brand is doing something right. Given that brands like Gymshark are a similar price point, I'd rather put my money towards a brand that wants a brighter future even if it's a bit more expensive. Sustainable brands are charging more now but it's cheaper in the long run.
One body, one planet, one love ❤️✌️