Sourcing Journal’s Sustaining Voices celebrates the efforts the apparel industry is making toward securing a more environmentally responsible future through creative innovations, scalable solutions and forward-thinking initiatives that are spinning intent into action.
Pangaia takes an innovative, plant-based approach to textile materials.
Consider it soul-searching sustainability: For Pangaia, no detail is too small to be considered.
The company—its name a mashup of “pan” (all-inclusive) and “Gaia” (Mother Earth)—aims for a 360-degree sustainability strategy, meaning it considers the ecological ramifications of each step in the supply chain, from sourcing to shipping.
“Cruelty-free” is a central tenet of the Pangaia brand. Among its lineup are T-shirts made with a blend of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified cotton and seaweed that’s been colored using plants, fruits, vegetables and food waste. The seaweed is harvested every four years from Iceland, providing ample time for regeneration, according to the company.
Its hoodies and track pants are made from a blend of GOTS-certified organic and recycled cotton. Fabrics are treated with peppermint oil, which reportedly carries antibacterial properties that “keep them fresher for longer between washes.” All labels, trims, zippers and threads are recycled or responsibly sourced.
Finally, the company ships products in biodegradable packaging that it claims will vanish within six months in a compost bin.
Last fall, Pangaia released a puffer produced entirely from post-consumer recycled materials and stuffed with dried wildflowers. Ten years in the making, the coat was touted as a “100 percent cruelty-free alternative to traditional winter wear.”
Along with the puffer drop, Pangaia also announced last fall its partnership with The Renewal Workshop to repair and recycle old products.
Helping the company close its give-back loop is its “Missions” platform that organizes community philanthropy events. The first event, held with 5 Gyres and ComplexCon last November, resulted in nearly 300 pounds of trash collected from Alamitos Beach in California, thanks to the efforts of more than 120 volunteers. Pangaia also donates 1 percent of all sales to 5 Gyres, a nonprofit that fights plastic pollution.