Pangaia Brand FAQs
Who or what is PANGAIA?
PAN means all-inclusive, uniting, and GAIA means Mother Earth. We function as a global collective of scientists, designers, thinkers, and creators from all backgrounds and walks of life. We’ve organized ourselves into this global group of like-minded individuals so that we can continue to grow our community and welcome all our investors, customers, collaborators, and co-creators to become part of the collective too!
What do you mean by a ‘collective’?
We’re building a new model of leadership that champions the team, as opposed to the individual. We believe the power of the collective is more effective than individuals working alone to make change happen. PANGAIA is a company that connects MIT, Harvard, and Stanford alumni with designers from leading design schools from all over the globe to create products that combine cutting edge science with beautiful, timeless design. Equally, we provide exciting opportunities to young people across the entire business—from our customer service agents to logistics and operations, we are building an inclusive company. We are all united by one vision and dream to design a better future.
Who can become a part of the PANGAIA collective?
Anyone who shares our values is welcome into our collective. Customers, collaborators and co-creators.
Will you always focus on making basic lifestyle essentials or will you be expanding wider in the future?
This is just the beginning of our journey. We’ve started with everyday basics as we believe that they are the perfect platform to launch new materials and show true innovation. We’ll then be adding fashion pieces through capsules and collaborations, and plan to explore other categories further down the line—so watch this space.
What is your philanthropy approach and how do you choose which causes you support?
We have an impact-driven approach across everything we do—we are working within a very ambitious impact framework that we have established which includes aspects such as innovative materials, circular resources, ocean health, climate action and biodiversity—to name a few. This framework is at the heart of everything we do and keeps us accountable.
Our philanthropic actions are currently centered around two funds that we launched in partnership with Milkywire: the Tomorrow Tree Fund and Bee The Change.
The aim of the Tomorrow Tree Fund is to support grassroots NGOs around the world working on tree planting and conservation with the goal to plant, protect, and restore 1 million trees to help save our environment. You can find more information about our tree planting initiatives here.
As for Bee The Change, which was launched on World Bee Day in May 2020, our aim is to protect and preserve vulnerable and endangered bee species across the world. You can find out more about our bee conservation partners here.
You say PANGAIA products are almost 100% natural - what are you doing to make this 100%?
We believe that every stitch matters and have worked hard to make sure that each part of our supply chain is ethical. We go beyond sustainable fabric, to exclusively use sustainable or responsibly sourced trims, labels, threads, zippers and packaging. However, some of our materials—such as recycled polyester and our TIPA packaging—are sustainable but can’t be called 100% natural due to their origin (in this case, plastic and garment waste). So it’s a difficult balance between reusing waste and ignoring it and opting for virgin natural materials.
We currently use some amazing natural materials such as Seaweed Fiber, organic cotton and natural dyes and will continue to incorporate more natural materials as we go. On the production side, we spent months finding the best ethically-run factories around Europe brave enough to take on manufacturing using bio and lab grown materials, recycled and sustainable fabrics. We visit each site on a regular basis to ensure that we build strong personal relationships not just with the owners, but with the people actually making our products. We always strive to have a fully sustainable, natural collection and keep the garment quality at the highest level.
Why are your products so expensive?
It’s not easy being the first in any field. To pioneer is to go away from the mass and do something different and bespoke. Our prices reflect these costs and we’re aware that they are currently out of reach for some people, however there are real reasons for this. Each PANGAIA product represents this investment in the future of materials science. We work with the most advanced scientists, researchers and technologists in their areas—from fibers to packaging—and with forward-thinking factories and makers in Europe who treat their people to our exacting ethical standards. Highest quality, ethical standards and latest innovations will always be our priority. By introducing new sustainable technologies and practices to the fashion and apparel industry, our ultimate goal is to show others a way forward, so they become more widespread. This will build scale and drive down costs across the industry, making sustainable innovation the norm rather than the exception.
Where do you make your clothes?
Most of our products are made in Europe. Our warehouse is also located in the United Kingdom which makes the logistics easier and reduces our carbon footprint as a company. As we source our fabrics, natural dyes and technologies globally due to the scarcity, nature and origin of some of these innovations, it was crucial for us to produce everything in one place. We chose places like Portugal for the quality of their factories, labor law compliance, and range of factories with the latest eco certifications. It was also important for us to partner with factories and people who share our ideas and are ready to incorporate the latest and best eco innovations, technologies and sustainable processes. They are ready to experiment with us, so this partnership is key.
We work with like-minded manufacturers we can partner closely with and visit often—location is important for us to ensure our travel footprint is minimal. We also want to ensure the high standards of staff welfare and quality output.
Are your production partners certified?
Yes. For example, the factory that creates the yarn for our Seaweed Fiber T-shirt has several certificates: Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard, BCI and Global Recycled Standard. Our yarn is made into cloth at an Italian factory that fully complies with all the eco-toxicological parameters requested by national and international regulations, from REACH to GB 18401 for China. In 2017 they also received certification from the Italian Textile & Health Association, the institution that works together with the Italian Health Care Ministry to focus on eco-toxicology in the garment industry. One of our garment production facilities is in Portugal, which has its own sustainability goals to reach and they have started by enlarging their facilities and placing solar panels in order to reduce the consumption of energy.
We have also recently started to roll out a Supplier Code of Conduct – this ensures we only partner with suppliers having achieved a high environmental and social standard. We work in collaboration with all of our partners in order to ensure certifications have been met.
Find out more here.