When we started Girlfriend Collective our first goal was to be as transparent as possible. So many companies tout transparency but only offer flashy headlines instead of substance. We chose every part of our process, from our raw materials to our facilities to our partners, with care. We also discovered quickly that high end fit and feel is not a matter of cost, it’s a matter of time. We take the time to make sure every single one of our designs is so beautiful that you won’t cycle through it the next time you look through your closet. Beyond that, we wanted to find a community of people who cared about where their clothes come from as much as how they look. We’re lucky to have found you. Take a look around, we’re glad you’re here. Our Recycled Polyester Taiwan, where we source all of our post-consumer water bottles, used to be called “Garbage Island”. A small island nation of 23 million people, the government saw the danger of ignoring the problem, and through widespread change has transformed Taiwan into a world leader in recycling, with 55% of waste being recycled (as opposed to 35% in the US). Recycling is a community affair in Taiwan. Each night people gather to sort their waste into containers as a community – recyclables, food waste, and garbage. Rather than leave, they stay and talk until the trucks come and pick it up, turning what could be a tedious affair into a connective one. Programs and volunteer groups have sprung up all over Taiwan to help bring this community spirit outside of city centers. We spent time documenting the Tzu Chi Foundation, which sets up micro-recycling centers in rural areas across Taipei. Run mostly by retired people, they set up drop off points to both give people access and education to recycling, and to promote environmental stewardship in their free time.