Two months into working from home, and there is no doubt our wardrobe stables have centered around the most comfortable pieces in our closet. And by comfortable, we mean elasticated waisted...

There's no doubt that our daily wardrobe has changed. While we yearn for the days of being able to "put together" our outfits (we DO work in the fashion industry for a reason, dear readers!) we're taking the time these days to make comfort a priority given all the other stuff we have to worry about. Ease can come in the form of the classic trackpant/sweatshirt combo but when looking for the best in Feel Good clothes, we've been so pleased to discover a label that offers comfort alongside conscious production and a longterm view of our planet's health.

According to their press release, "PANGAIA
is a direct-to-consumer materials science label bringing breakthrough textile innovations and patents into the world through everyday lifestyle products." Yeah, us neither... so we've asked Amanda Parks, their science spokesperson to help us understand what makes their joggers so different to the rest...

First off - What's the paragraph of text on the products actually say?
"This hoodie is colored with natural dyes made from plants, fruits and vegetables. The fabric is made from a recycled and organic cotton mix."

Ok! Straight to the point! But by using natural dyes, should we expect faster fade when we wash them? Or how best to wash with natural dyes, is there anything different we need to do?
Due to the nature of the Botanical dyes, even colour shades in this range may vary from product to product. These products need to be washed with care - with an environmentally friendly laundry liquid and on a warm and gentle cycle. We don’t recommend tumble drying these products either - both in an effort to protect the garment itself, and as line/air drying is much gentler on the environment. 

What's the biggest different between buying a hoodie and jogging pants from PANGAIA, than say, designer sweats or hoodies?
We hope to inspire what we hope is becoming the standard wisdom- things like use less plastic, don’t buy synthetics, eat vegan as much as possible, engage in systems of the shared economy which promote sustainable behaviour. In general, we don’t subscribe to the notion that sustainability needs to be defined by shutting down production and consumption. While we should all act and buy in moderation, we still need to be able to celebrate beauty, personal expression, and everything that makes fashion a wonderful art form, we should be concentrating on making appropriate material solutions that still allow us to create. What frustrates me most as a scientist is knowing that technical solutions exist, but systems governed by policy, economics, and general lack of education and understanding are keeping us from living in a world of abundance. So I say - if you choose to buy, buy smart. 

Why don't other brands use natural botanical dyes more regularly - what's the biggest challenge when using them?
Botanical Dyes extracted from nature are much safer for the environment, as they reduce the amount of harsh chemicals and colorants that would otherwise enter into the planet’s water streams. For our Botanical Dyes collection, we used natural dyes derived from food waste, plants, fruits and vegetables to achieve the richly hued tones of the fabrics. For example, all our garment logos and prints are also created with water-based PVC-free ink. We always respect the Restrictive Substance List.The challenge is figuring out which suppliers are actually brave enough and equipped to handle botanical dyes, as this dyeing method is quite specific. 

You call your seaweed fibres, organic cottons, Flwrdwn which is a biopolymer for down jackets made out of flowers - technologies. How will you use these "technologies" to create potentially more complex fabrics or textures (or is that not at all the point?)
PANGAIA as a materials science brand is bringing innovations to life through products of everyday use. We have our own lab in Florence, Italy where we develop our very own proprietary materials and technologies in-house, as well as build on science developed to date throughout our innovation pipeline/network. Commercialising research/innovation that we plan to open source to other companies and industries is one of the key focus areas for PANGAIA. PANGAIA is creating a new business model and a way to springboard new technologies and push forward their adoption on a global scale.  

How do you think other brands can start incorporating these more sustainable materials into their collections - what's the first step they need to take?
We need a lot of people doing some things better rather than a few people doing everything perfectly - change comes from the collective behaviour of people and our joint commitment to evolving systems. We also believe that the industry needs to see this change happening and these new sustainable practices and materials being adopted more and more, so we very much hope to inspire!

How should we, as consumers, challenge brands like PANGAIA to move into using these for tailoring, or more occasion wear - moving out of the basics and into the more special pieces? Is that even realistic of us to ask?
We are still a pretty young company, we are focused on developing and introducing breakthrough textile innovations and patents into the world through everyday lifestyle products. What we launched with about a year ago is effectively an experiment with seaweed fiber which we turned into a fabric and into a t-shirt, which became our MVP - the Seaweed Fiber T-shirt treated with peppermint oil to keep it fresh longer. Then we added a collection of t-shirts and hoodies/track pants dyed with botanical colors, our FLWRDWN™️ puffer jackets etc. All our products are beautifully designed, with as many innovative, responsible, recycled and recyclable elements as possible, packaged in a compostable part bio-based alternative to plastic. We have some big partnerships in the works for this year that we are extremely excited about, including some artist collaborations. In terms of broadening our product offer - absolutely, our future plans include category expansion into accessories, jewellry, beauty, furniture, and so much more. So watch this space!

The new PANGAIA BOTANICALS 2.0. collection is made up of 5 new, bright yet natural colours Rubia® Mauve, Rubia® Red Nimbus® Pink, Nimbus® Purple and Leafy Green. 
You can buy them HERE

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