Fashion, Sustainability, and Talent to Make It Work

The Girlfriend Collective is changing the world of fashion by recycling plastics into high-performance athletic wear. We’re helping them hire the talent to drive their remarkable mission.

About

The Girlfriend Collective is an ambitious startup in the women’s activewear industry. Their mission is to change the world of fashion sustainably and ethically. They use recycled plastic from water bottles that would end up in landfills and fishing nets that harm ocean life to create high-performance athleticwear, including leggings, bras, shorts, tees, and jackets. They also offer discounts to customers who mail in their old products to be recycled.

Also, the Girlfriend Collective certifies that their factory in Vietnam pays living wages, provides fair working hours and safe conditions, allow unionization, and uses no forced or child labor.

Challenge

To sustain its ambitious mission, they needed to make some critical new hires. But the current Girlfriend Collective team was so busy focused on growth and product production; they had little time to handle the entire recruiting process.

Solution

Bandwidth started by optimizing job descriptions and defining the ideal candidate profile with the team. Though there were some strong applicants in the existing applicant pipeline, we launched a targeted candidate outreach campaign to reach local talent with the right skills for the job. With such a purpose-driven company mission and a brand message that was already resonating with its audience, our outreach delivered outstanding response rates.

Of course, not every candidate ends up being the perfect match. But they are potential customers and fans. So how do you let candidates down without damaging a growing brand that relies heavily on social media for positive word-of-mouth? The focus throughout the hiring process was not only to find the right talent, but to deliver a great candidate experience. Bandwidth pitched the idea of sending Girlfriend Collective products to select candidates who were rejected late in the interview process, to thank them for their time and effort.

In collaboration with the Girlfriend Collective team, we rolled out “Project Gift Bag.” The response was overwhelming and accomplished what we set out to do – turn potential candidates into fans and generate positive vibes for the brand. Here is just a sample of the responses we received:

“I will gladly take you up on your offer of sample product! I joked to my fiancé that this is the best rejection email I’ve ever received. Thanks again for the timely updates and transparency throughout the process – I definitely appreciated it and hope to stay in touch.”

“Thanks so much for the gift, and for taking the time to interview me. I appreciate you reaching out! Please think of me in the future if your team has marketing positions available. I’d love to interview again.”

“Thank you for the response! I recently talked to my old colleague… who was just recently hired. She said great things about the company, and if nothing else, Girlfriend Collective has a new customer from me!”

“Thanks for circling back. I’m disappointed not to meet you all in person, but am glad you have some good candidates to move forward with. I am now a total fangirl! I ordered the Topanga Bra in Ivory a few weeks ago. I’m really looking forward to receiving it, loving it and telling all my friends. Good luck with what’s ahead, and thank you for helping the cause for cleaner oceans and clothing!”

Outcomes

We have helped Girlfriend Collective’s team of full-time employees has grown substantially, and they now have the talent they need to drive their remarkable mission. With strong positive candidate responses to the recruiting and hiring process and a healthy pipeline of candidates, the Girlfriend Collective is well-positioned for continued growth.

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