Glossary

Pangaia

Pan: all; completely; involving all of a specified group or region. Gaia: The Greek Earth Goddess or mother of all life on Earth; The hypothesis that all the components of Earth (both living and nonliving) function as a single, homeostatic system that impacts and supports life on this planet. 


Aerogel

Aerogels are ultralight materials made from gel whose liquid components are replaced with a gas. Aerogels act as great thermal insulators, in addition to their lightweight strength, making them an important component in Flowerdown.

Bacteria 

Bacteria are a class of single-celled microorganisms that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with diverse functions. Virtually all natural life on earth is dependent on bacteria for survival. Bacteria also serve an important role in research and production of biofabricated materials, sometimes serving as a tool and other times as the producer.

Biobased 

Materials made either wholly or partly from biological products; However, the material may not necessarily be fully renewable, biodegradable, or compostable as it can be mixed with petrochemical based ingredients and still be considered a biobased product.

Biodegradable

The capability of a material to be broken down into simple, organic and non-toxic molecules by microorganisms without human intervention. While many materials are biodegradable, they may take many decades to be fully reincorporated into the soil whereas other biodegradable materials return to their organic components in a matter of months.

Biodesign 

The integration of design with living materials (such as fungi, algae, yeast, bacteria, and cultured tissue) to create novel solutions and technologies, whose enhanced properties or ecological performance is attributed to their biological components.


Bioengineering

A discipline or process that applies the techniques of traditional engineering to the design and creation of biological constructs or materials.

Biofabricated

The use of biological raw materials such as living cells, organisms, and bioactive molecules in the production of complex organic and inorganic hybrid materials. More succinctly, biofabrication is the act of building with biology.

Biomaterial

A general term used to describe materials (of either natural or synthetic origin) that are suitable as medical devices, or materials with pre-existing biological content that are processed and converted into products such as fibers or fabrics.

Biopolymer

Biopolymers are naturally occurring compounds, formed from smaller molecular subunits, that create countless essential structures from DNA to cellulose to natural rubber.

Biotech

The integration of natural sciences and engineering in order to develop and create innovative products using biological systems or living organisms. 


Synthetic Biology

An interdisciplinary field that uses biotechnology tools to engineer DNA and produce proteins, enzymes, and cellular networks that can become advanced biofuels and bio-products.

Carbon Nanotube

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are carbon based structures typically measured in nanometers (10-9 m). These tube structures have enhanced tensile strength, thermal and electrical conductivity, and can be used in a wide variety of applications.

Cellulose

Cellulose is the basic structural component of plant cell walls, made from thousands of glucose molecules, and the most abundant biopolymer on Earth. Animals don’t produce cellulose, we not only consume cellulose in the foods we eat but also as natural fibers in our fabrics and materials, such as cotton which is 90% cellulose.

Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, making everything bone to cartilage to tendons.

Collective

We are made up of individuals from all over the globe, with the same guiding principles and very different backgrounds, experiences, expertise and ideas. Here, scientists and technologists connect with designers and the next generation of creative minds, to create functional, sustainable products. We believe the power of the collective is more effective than individuals working alone to make change. We’re united by one vision and dream to design a better future.

Compostable

Compostable materials decompose in specific environments that use microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, to facilitate decomposition so the organic waste can be reused. However, it’s important to note that since compostable materials are designed to degrade in specific environments, they may not decompose in landfills like other biodegradable materials.


DNA

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the biological macromolecule that stores and transports our genetic material. In the context of biofabricated textiles, we can design products at the DNA level by tailoring the genes to produce new proteins, allowing us to use the power of nature to guide our making process.

Fiber 

Fibers are the singular units used to create larger, more complex materials. Natural fibers are those produced by plants, animals, and other biological processes, while man-made fibers consist of synthetic and semi-synthetic (such as cellulose regenerated materials like rayon from wood pulp and Seacell from seaweed) fibers.

Filament

In textiles, a filament is a man-made strand of continuous fiber spun around a spool to create a yarn.

Flowerdown

Flowerdown is a down-like microstructure with extraordinary thermal insulation properties. It is certified hypoallergenic, fully breathable and has great biocompatibility with human skin. Flowerdown is an opportunity to retreat from using goose/duck down (which is hyper-allergenic, full of bacteria, flammable and worst of all, often produced under shockingly cruel circumstances). Made of natural wild flowers that are responsibly managed with traceable flower farming, and a biodegradable polymer which breaks down in a compost facility. Flowerdown. being vegan and cruelty-free, super warm and light. Aerogel made of cellulose has been used in the process to increase thermal insulation properties.

GMO

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered using genetic engineering. Introducing new genes to a species enhances the organism’s ability to perform in a specific environment. For example, diabetic insulin is produced by genetically modified bacteria, as is biofabricated bacterial silk.

GOTS

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a comprehensive set of rules for ecologically and socially responsible textile production. Recognition by GOTS means that the certified material was grown organically in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. In our effort to positively impact your closest and the earth, Pangaia only uses GOTS certified organic cotton.

Lyocell

It is a unique technology that turns a plant originated material into fiber. The US Federal Trade Commission defines a lyocell fiber as one composed of cellulose precipitated from an organic solution in which no substitution of the hydroxyl groups takes place and no chemical intermediates are formed. Put simply, cellulose (derived from wood) is dissolved into a liquid state which is formed into fibers using the dry jet-wet spinning technique. In our case the wood cellulose is sustainably grown and powdered organic seaweed is added to it when a liquid so that it is permanently embedded into the fiber. Amine oxide is used to dissolve the cellulose and set the fiber after spinning and as 98% of this is recovered and recycled, there is little waste product. All fibers and leftover waste are also fully biodegradable.

Microorganism 

A microorganism (or microbe) is most simply a microscopic organism. This category of biological organisms is extremely diverse, including all single-celled and multicellular organisms that exist on their own or in colonies. Microorganisms, such as bacteria, are essential biological tools for the successful functioning of the natural world, including the maintenance of human health.

Mycelium

Mycelium is the branching, root-like structure of a fungus through which nutrients are absorbed from the environment. As a natural source of dense chitin polymer networks, mycelium can be used as a cost-effective, durable, and sustainable biomaterial. It can be cultured into different shapes and engineered to have specific material properties. Many biofabrication companies work with mycelium to create bio-leathers and other alternatives to plastic.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are derived directly from living organisms such as plants, animals, bacteria, and yeast. Examples of such fibers include cotton, seaweed, bamboo, wool, and silk. Natural dyes come from plants and other biological sources. Pangaia’s botanical dyes are created from food waste, plants, fruits, and vegetables, such as our madder root pink and palash flower yellow.

Organic cotton 

Organic cotton refers to non-genetically modified cotton that has been grown without polluting fertilizers or pesticides. Producing organic cotton is also shown to help promote and enhance biodiversity in its environment. 

Polymer

Polymers are large chemical compounds composed of many smaller molecules linked together in long, repeating chains. Polymers can be both naturally occurring (biopolymers) and man-made (synthetic polymers). The most common natural polymer on Earth is cellulose, and man-made polymers include materials such as polyethylene and polyester.

Protein

Proteins are the functional products designed by the DNA using a specific arrangement of amino acids. As the most diverse macromolecule in terms of structure and function, proteins play a wide array of roles in cells and organisms. Animal fibers used in fabrics (such as wool, silk, and cashmere) are primarily composed of different types of proteins like collagen and keratin.

Synthetic

Synthetic fibers are those made by humans through chemical synthesis, such as nylon, elastane, and polyester. The development of synthetic fibers brought the textile industry new features and convenience that natural fibers did not, such as durability, elasticity, and cost-effective mass production. Unfortunately, synthetic fibers and dyes are produced from petrochemicals and can take up to 200 years to biodegrade.

TIPA

TIPA is a bio-based plastic alternative that fully disappears within 24 weeks in your compost bin. It’s designed to offer a breakthrough ecological alternative to avoid the billion tons of surplus non-recyclable plastic consumed globally.