‘pan | pæn — gaia | gaɪə
Pan — All-inclusive, especially in relation to the whole of a continent, racial group or religion.
Gaia — Mother Earth.’
Established in 2018, materials science company Pangaia’s meteoric rise as a champion of sustainability and innovation in the fashion world has not gone unnoticed. With a mission to save the environment, Pangaia has created everyday staples by harvesting the natural world using ground-breaking technologies. Each technology developed by Pangaia responds to an identified problem within the fashion industry and the adverse impact on the environment, hoping to one day make these innovations available to companies all across the industry.
Seaweed fiber (‘C-FIBER’)
In a pledge to reduce the environmental impact of producing clothes using cotton (making just one cotton t-shirt uses around 3,000 litres of water!), Pangaia has developed its trademarked ‘c-fiber’ solution. Eucalyptus pulp and regenerative seaweed powder from the ocean in Iceland are transformed into a comfortable and wearable fabric. This method is highly sustainable; both raw materials grow naturally without the need to use fresh water sources, such as groundwater, whilst the water throughout the production process is recycled. The best part: c-fiber garments are biodegradable, completing the cycle as all natural materials return back to the earth.
The first of its kind, Pangaia’s flowerdown technology provides a sustainable and cruelty-free solution to the use of traditional animal or synthetic down in the production of thermal jackets. Pangaia sources natural wildflowers grown without pesticides, which are then contained within pods to dry out. Afterwards, the dried material is combined with an aerogel and biopolymer which is used to fill out the quilted shell which lines the jacket.
PLNTFIBER and FRUTFIBER
The unsustainable practice of and over-reliance on extensive cotton farming- which in itself damages biodiversity and uses enormous quantities of water- had prompted the need for a new solution to be found. One of these new technologies patented by Pangaia is ‘PLNTFIBER.’ Four underused and fast-growing plants, specifically bamboo (from China) and Himalayan nettle (from Nepal), in addition to the already mentioned seaweed and eucalyptus are sourced and spun together into a single biodegradable yarn. ‘FRUTFIBER’ on the other hand, utilises waste products from the fruit industry to create an innovative new material for garments. Pineapple leaf and banana leaf fibers (both sourced from the Philippines) most often discarded during harvesting, are repurposed alongside bamboo (from China) to provide another solution to the garment industry’s destructive methods. The fruit fibre production process is detailed below. You can read more on both processes here.
The innovation of Pangaia does not stop with the creation of new materials. A key part of their sustainable mission is to ensure the longevity of each item, ensuring that the environmental impact of garments remains as low as possible.
Before reaching consumers, all items are treated with peppermint oil, which prevents the growth of bacteria that causes odour and fuels the need for frequent washing. With this, Pangaia is preventing two issues that come with over-washing of clothing. The first is that it uses a vast amount of water, simultaneously releasing chemicals into water systems. The second is that washing clothes too much reduces their lifespan and causes them to wear out, which can fuel further unnecessary clothing consumption. This treatment is thus an effective method to keep clothes fresher for longer, in turn reducing the environmental impact of washing and excessive consumerism.
Though this does not provide a comprehensive account of Pangaia’s ground-breaking methods, we believe that these examples really go far in highlighting the brand’s position as a leading sustainable giant in the industry from which others will hopefully follow. You can read more about all of Pangaia’s methods and new technologies here.