Every decision made at this celebrity-loved loungewear label is backed up by science

Amy de Klerk
·5-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia

From Harper's BAZAAR

Each week, we look into an exciting and innovative label that is taking the fashion world by storm in our regular feature #TheBrand. This time, we speak to the team behind Pangaia, an American loungewear label that has quickly become a favourite among A-listers for its bright, colourful and supremely comfortable tracksuits and sportswear, all of which are created through earth-friendly practices.

“We function as a global collective of scientists, designers, thinkers and creators from all backgrounds and walks of life,” the team, who refer to themselves as the Pangaia Collective, tell me. “We started because we wanted to create a company that was driven by purpose and powered by science.”

The collective is made up of those from leading design schools, as well as alumni from MIT, Harvard and Stanford, who wanted to bring together cutting-edge science with timeless, beautiful design, giving them a markedly different approach to many fashion brands, who may not equally prioritise technology with style.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia

For Pangaia, this involves experimenting with fabrics and using the most innovative materials that the team can get their hands on, those which meet the delicate balance between sustainability, functionality and purpose. The brand uses recycled cottons, environmentally friendly dyes and a number of bio-based fibres in the collections, and also measures its greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to exist sustainably, aiming to be an earth-positive, regenerative business that gives back to the planet more than it takes.

This approach has always been at the heart of Pangaia, but it is something that is becoming ever more important to its growing customer base, partly as a result of what we have all experienced over this past 12 months.

“The pandemic acted as a catalyst, making more and more people conscious of the urgency of the geo-political situation and the threat to human existence. This has spurred a huge shift in behaviour and purchasing habits, which has challenged the fashion industry to re-think and act on its way of working to become more responsible.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia

Of course, selling predominantly loungewear has also been behind the brand’s boom, as consumers have turned to comfort while they are spending so much more time in their homes. This includes A-list fans from Jennifer Lopez and Tracee Ellis Ross to Kourtney Kardashian. However, the team is not concerned that interest in the company will wane when life does return to normal.

“Pangaia was created as a materials science company that delivers everyday lifestyle products,” they said. “We have been lucky enough to see just how much love our products have received from our growing community, especially when staying and working from home. Our customers are environmentally aware and tech-savvy though. They are driven by a strong desire to make change happen through the products they use and the clothes they wear – and we strongly believe that this global movement will outlive the current context.”

Part of the reason that they are so confident about this is because of how involved the community has become about the environmental impact of its products, they explain.

“We have a very engaged community from whom we continue to learn and over the past year, we have seen a huge uptick in curiosity and feedback about the science behind each of our products. This has been hugely rewarding for us to see that our actions and messages are being heard.”

The company is aiming to take its mantra – “we produce products for a reason, not a season” – even further, by helping other businesses and industries to set out on a more sustainable path.

“There is a lot that needs to be done to make the fashion industry more responsible, both from an ethical and an environmental standpoint, ranging from working conditions to moving away from materials that are harmful to the environment in favour of regenerative ones.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia

“While we are far from being perfect, our aim is to improve on all of these aspects and set a new standard. We are also sharing our materials innovations and blueprints for impact with many industries to champion adoption of more responsible production and consumption on a global scale.”

The brand will also be attempting to help de-mystify some of the science behind its practices, and to help educate consumers on sustainable fashion, with its first physical brand experience, which has just opened at Selfridges, and which customers will be able to visit in store from Monday 12 April (or virtually now).

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

The immersive installation contains an industrial structure which transports guests on a journey of discovery across the many facets of the brand. Customers will enter the structure and move in a circular route around the inner seven chambers while becoming immersed in a beautiful ever-changing giant prism of light, where they will learn about the technologies harnessed by Pangaia, and the positive impact created through each of its products.

Through this project, the brand is aiming to showcase the limitless possibilities that can be achieved through materials science and innovation, while, behind the scenes, it aims to continue utilising and creating more brand-new, game-changing materials and technologies, with which it hopes to change the fashion industry from within.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pangaia

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