Fully UnEarthed: Honest activewear brand, GNGR Bees

An Honest Product Review by Earth Collective

Do you know who made your clothes? Nathalia Grisard does.

Not only does the founder and director of honest activewear brand GNGR Bees know who makes her clothes, but she invites the community to get to know them too, and thank them for their work.

The Hive, created by GNGR Bees, was inspired by Fashion Revolution’s #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign – an initiative that encourages businesses to be transparent about their supply chain. GNGR Bees gives customers the opportunity to see everyone involved in making its clothes and use their purchasing power to give back to them – every time a product that was created by the Hive is purchased, GNGR Bees gives thanks directly by giving back profits to the workers.

But GNGR Bees Sustainability creds do not stop there

Committed to ethically manufacturing its goods using materials that have been disposed, reclaimed, up-cycled and recycled, GNGR Bees’ products are made from waste – recycled bottles, fishing nets, cement and tea sacks and more.

The business also partners with small social enterprises to empower the people and keep culture and craftsmanship alive, and donates at least 5 percent of its profits to important causes, such as Born Free and Sea Women of Melanesia.

But what about the activewear?

In the GNGR Bees shop you will find sports bras and leggings made from recycled bottles and fishnets, face masks made from leftover materials, Hoodies and shorts made from reclaimed deadstock and bags made from reclaimed fishing nets.

Some of the product details include a transparency receipt that breaks down the exact cost of manufacturing the item.

Put to the test

I live in activewear. When you work from home, own an active dog and have a love for yoga, why would you wear anything else, am I right? So, when Nathalia very generously gifted me a pair of GNGR Bees Louisa Leggings and the Louisa Sports BraI was super excited to try them out.

Amber the Lurcher loves a bit of yoga too!

MY GNGR Bees eco-journey starts with the very packaging the set arrives in – shipped to me in an up-cycled single-use plastic-free cement sack with handles, co-developed by Azizi Life, and carefully wrapped in a beautifully painted up-cycled tea sack from Booteek, both of which can be re-used.

Unwrapping my new activewear, I immediately fall in love with the colour and fabric. The gorgeous leggings and sports bra set is made from 73% recycled plastic bottles and 27% spandex and comes in a bright purple hue, which is sure to liven up my otherwise incredibly monochrome wardrobe. The fabric is smooth and soft, with cheeky peek-a-boo translucent netting features on the legs and cleavage area, allowing for extra breathability.

The spandex in the set makes it easy to slip on and off, and the all-important high waist feels comfortable and secure (for size comparison, my sizing is M bra and leggings).

Now, for functionality.

A perception that some have when it comes to fashion made from waste, is that you will have to forfeit something else – style, functionality, comfort – to sub in ‘ethically made’. Can clothes made from recycled bottles really tick every box?

Well they can, and they do.

Enjoying a sweaty back-yard yoga session in the sun, this set allows me to make every shape with my body easily, without any snags or pinches, without any material riding up any cracks, and without anything falling down after every forward fold (if you know, you know). GNGR Bees claims that its products won’t look stained when you sweat, and I certainly found this to be true.

To add an extra feel-good factor, the Louisa Leggings and Sports Bra support the Hive Project – which means a percentage of profits from sales of these items go back to the people who made them.

Care and longevity

The label in my set suggests washing at 30’C and line drying – which is not only better for the longevity of any clothes, but also better for the environment. I have washed my set on a delicate 30’C wash and dried it on my washing line multiple times now, with excellent results.

Side note – the label also doubles up as your own personal mini cheerleader, offering advice every time you put on your activewear. Mine told me to ‘be a badass, exercise, relax, enjoy life, play with your dog, baby, friends. Love others, love yourself and theeeeen, wash me!’ along with ‘do not kill bees’. Wise words indeed, thanks GNGR Bees!

The conclusion

It’s really refreshing to find an activewear brand that takes a 360′ approach to sustainability and truly considers its impact on the planet and on humanity at every level of its business. That’s a huge win for me. Add to that products that look good and perform to a high standard, and I think we’re onto a winner.

To GNGR Bees we say – that’s some good Buzz-ness!

Charli tested out the Louisa Leggings and the Louisa Sports Bra, both gifted by GNGR Bees. Read more from Nathalia in our Interviews with the Collective series.

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Charli Ferrand Higgins

After a decade working for global and boutique PR and Marketing agencies in Sydney, with clients that included some of the biggest consumer brands in the world, Charli returned to her homeland of the UK in 2017 and decided the time had come to use her professional skills and experience for good. She has since split her time between supporting passionate, purpose-driven small and medium-sized businesses to grow through conscious content marketing, managing and editing the planet-positive content hub Earth Collective (weareearthcollective.com), and hosting the podcast Easy Being Green? Lessons in sustainable business for SMEs.

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