Our Responsibility: resource better

PANGAIA was born with a vision of innovation and science. Our team of scientists and partner laboratories around the world are researching breakthrough Innovative Materials and Systems that empower our Earth Positive ambition.

Diversifying material options by introducing new and lower impact alternatives to the textile industry is crucial to limiting global warming not to mention protecting biodiversity.* * Quantis, Measuring Fashion: Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries Study, 2018.

Innovation

PANGAIA invests in, develops, and tests new fibers, textiles, chemical formulations, and low-impact processes that aim to reduce negative environmental and social impacts and regenerate nature’s ecosystems.

Material science is central to solving these social and environmental problems for the textile and clothing industry and is the driving force behind PANGAIA LAB, a platform we launched this year that identifies and supports the most groundbreaking innovations in materials science.

Beyond using innovative materials within our own designs, we want to see these solutions scale across the industry through PANGAIA Science, our B2B arm that provides a 360-degree service of turn-key material solutions.

This seems like a good time to re-share the open invitation to collaborate with us.

Research & Development (R&D) Strategy

Every solution we bring to market aims to tackle an environmental problem. With our partners, we are developing both new materials, and new chemical formulations with a focus on dyeing and finishing.

PANGAIA’s R&D Pillars describe the main problems we seek to address and their corresponding solutions.

Biodiversity

Regenerative Agriculture Man-made Cellulosic Fibers Perennial Crops/Plants Rubber Alternatives

Fossil Fuel Free

KINTRA Bio-Polymers Carbon Capture Materials Biorefinery Models & Crossover Systems

Ethical Sourcing

FLWRDWN Leather Alternatives Cell-Cultured Materials Recycled Wool & Cashmere

Water Health

PPRMINT Natural Dyes & Pigments Plasma Treatments Waterproof Membranes Microfibers/ Microplastics

Waste Reduction

Textile/Dye Recycling Agricultural Waste Materials Product Recycling Product Longevity & Service

Testing

Transparency

Education

How we’re influencing change beyond PANGAIA through PANGAIA Science:

100+ Materials in Innovation Portfolio

10 Supplier partners

11+ Innovation partners

Customer Innovation Management Platform in progress

170+ Customers in pipeline

Innovation Launches

In 2021, we introduced 7 new materials and 3 finishes, some owned and patented by us, others the result of joint ventures or industrial partnerships. We are currently undertaking LCA’s for our key innovations to quantify the impact of these solutions.

We’re proud of this:

In 2021, we ventured into a partnership outside our usual product mix, because the innovation was so exciting it demanded a product collaboration.  We partnered with Twelve, the carbon transformation company that captures CO2 from the air and combines it with water and heat to create multi-use polycarbonate materials. One such use was in PANGAIA’s first-ever sunglasses, with CO2made® lenses.

FLWRDWN™ Lite

  • FLWRDWN™ Lite is our lightweight plant-based, breathable alternative to traditional animal-derived insulative material, the ultimate light, warm and versatile layer. We use wildflowers that directly support habitat conservation and are grown without any pesticides or artificial irrigation—preventing pollution and saving water. The wildflowers have a down-like microstructure, so when we combine them with our bio-based polymer it brings out the thermal-warming properties.

PANettle™

  • PANettle™ is a Nettle Selvedge Denim blend using wild Himalayan nettle, organic cotton, and infused with PPRMINT™. It is created using a left-hand twill for added softness. Nettle grows abundantly, is naturally regenerative (growing back every year), helps root growth and soil stabilization in landslide-prone mountains and helps support local communities

PANhemp™

  • PANhemp™ is made from hemp, organic cotton, natural Indigo dye, and peppermint oil (PPRMINT™). Hemp grows well without pesticides, additional watering and yields 3x more fiber than cotton per acre. The one-of-a-kind fabric, is made with organic cotton and rain-fed hemp blend. It is then woven in reverse to create our signature, rare, Left Hand twill.

FRUTFIBER™

  • FRUTFIBER™ repurposes biomass waste, turning banana leaf fiber, pineapple leaf fiber and bamboo into a new, innovative fabric with natural materials that are usually considered agricultural waste.

PLNTFIBER™

  • PLNTFIBER™ uses responsibly sourced, renewable, fast-growing plants. It is a blend of Himalayan nettle fiber, bamboo lyocell, and eucalyptus lyocell embedded with seaweed—four fast-growing plants that do not require pesticides, fertilizers, or irrigation.

C-FIBER™

  • C-Fiber™ combines eucalyptus pulp and seaweed powder to create a fabric that is water-saving, biobased, and 100% biodegradable. Seaweed is a naturally regenerative resource that grows abundantly under the sea. We harvest ours every four years from Iceland, allowing for full regeneration in between. The eucalyptus pulp is turned into lyocell made through a closed-loop production system—a process that recycles water and reuses up to 99% of the solvents used. This creates very little waste and results in a fiber that biodegrades in water, landfills, and composting environments.

Twelve

  • Twelve sunglasses are created in partnership with Twelve, a carbon transformation company that makes essential products from air, not oil. Our first PANGAIA LAB innovation, the CO2Made® polycarbonate lenses are made partially from CO₂.

Finishes introduced in 2021:

AIR-INK®

  • AIR-INK® is a carbon-capture technology that captures air pollution particles and diverts harmful substances from the air we breathe. The particles are turned into different grades of water-based inks, dispersions, and coatings.

Colorifix

  • Colorifix uses bacteria found in organisms to replicate pigments found in nature. By accessing the DNA blueprint, and with the help of amazing microbes, we created unique shades with zero harmful chemicals, no bulk supply chain, and less water and energy used.

MiDori® bioWick

  • MiDori® bioWick is a revolutionary biobased moisture-wicking finish that replaces the need for non-renewable wicking treatments. The formula is 100% biocarbon based, making it the first-of-its-kind in the industry. The active ingredient is 100% dried microalgae biomass which has been grown in controlled, sealed environments and is GMO-free. It provides excellent durability and fast-drying properties, ideal for performance wear.
Image by Jenke Ahmed Tailly, PANGAIA.
Image by Jenke Ahmed Tailly, PANGAIA.

A note on traditional materials

Synthetics

Did you know?

Fossil fuel based synthetic fibers (including polyester and nylon) accounted for 62% of global fiber production in 2020.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021.

Synthetic fibers (like polyester and nylon) are typically made from petroleum or coal. They are created ‘synthetically’ by lab-based chemical reactions, rather than occurring in nature (in contrast to ‘natural’ plant fibers like cellulose). Global decarbonization targets require us to leave fossil fuels in the ground and increase renewable raw material and energy sources. Therefore, alternative raw material sources for synthetic materials are needed. This is the first challenge we are tackling via a long-term innovation partnership with Kintra.

Cotton

Did you know?

Cotton is the second-most popular fiber (after polyester) and accounted for 24.2% of global fiber production as of 2020.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021.

Conventional cotton is grown using synthetic chemicals, including pesticides* * Transformers Foundation, Cotton: A Case Study in Misinformation, 2021. , and accounts for more than 69% of all cotton produced.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021. Only 0.95% of the remaining market share is comprised of organic cotton.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021.

There are concerns over the impacts of synthetic pesticides and other chemicals used on cotton crops because they leach into soil and water and can combine with other synthetic compounds in nature to create uncontrolled damage to the environment.

In some regions, water usage from cotton irrigation can pose water risks* * Transformers Foundation, Cotton: A Case Study in Misinformation, 2021., but this varies greatly, with around half of cotton cultivated globally being purely rainfed. In order to manage these impacts, we have avoided using conventional cotton in favor of organic sourcing exclusively. Organic cotton guarantees no pesticides or fertilizers are used and gives assurances on improved land management practices.

To satisfy a growing demand for cotton and simultaneously safeguard biodiversity, we are also investing in regenerative farming methods - a significant step beyond organic. These methods require farm-specific analysis that accounts for the exact conditions and adjusts the use of irrigation type, volume and timing, pesticide and fertilizer use, crop rotation, soil tillage, and all other contributing factors to optimize yields in balance with the local ecosystem. You can read more about our regenerative initiatives later in this chapter.

In addition, we are developing new supply chains for alternative fibers to alleviate dependence on cotton. These include a partnership with Himalayan Wild Fibers to harvest nettle and a range of Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers (MMCFs), which we will move on to next.

MMCF

Did you know?

MMCFs account for 6% of the global fiber market - and only 0.4% are from recycled materials.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021.

Man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCFs) are generally made from wood pulp that is chemically processed into fibers. They are sometimes referred to as ‘natural polymers’ because they are created synthetically, but their final chemical composition is cellulose.

The variation in chemical processing has resulted in multiple fibers and textiles, including viscose, lyocell, and rayon. For our MMCFs, we use lyocell closed-loop processing, which contains and recycles the chemicals and water used. This is currently the optimal method for this type of MMCF construction.

So what’s the problem with this group of fibers?

Well, MMCFs are sometimes made from trees logged in protected and endangered forests, contributing to climate change and ecological damage, as well as impacting indigenous communities.

Secondly, the chemical solvents used can be highly toxic, especially when not held in closed-loop systems that allow for repeated chemical recovery and reuse, such as those sometimes used to make lyocell. We do concede that even the chemicals in closed-loop systems must be treated and disposed of properly once their effectiveness is depleted.

So, we have two targets areas for improving MMCFs:

  • Source lower impact raw materials (in place of wood pulp)
  • Adopt safer chemistry, or avoid solvents altogether

So far, we have developed three new blends of MMCFs - PLNTFIBER™ and FRUTFIBER™ (using fruit and plant waste from the food industry), and C-Fiber™ (combining seaweed powder and eucalyptus pulp), which alleviates sole dependence on wood pulp. In 2021, 6% of our products were made with our MMCF blends.

Animal fibers

Did you know?

Animal fibers account for a tiny fraction of global fibers - totaling around 1.6%, with 1% of that being wool.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021.

Animal fibers are brilliant providers of insulation, natural antibacterial properties, and durability. However, their industrial cultivation can lead to environmental, ecological, and biodiversity damage when improperly managed. Beyond this, the welfare of animals, the quality of the husbandry (the care, cultivation, and breeding of animals), and our recognition of animals as sentient beings are also the reasons why PANGAIA considers the use of animal fibers very carefully.

Our approach to the use of any animal-derived materials is:

  • Preference always for recycled inputs
  • Any virgin inputs must be certified to high animal welfare standards

We have 2 solutions in this area. The first is recycled cashmere, which alleviates pressure on virgin cashmere fiber supplies. Growing demand for cashmere has led to animal welfare concerns and ecological decline in cashmere herding countries, so offering this fiber responsibly at PANGAIA means prioritizing the use of recycled cashmere fibers.

The second fiber solution we have, and one we are currently expanding into new materials, is FLWRDWN™, our patented plant-based alternative to animal and synthetic down materials.

FLWRDWN™ is created from naturally regenerative wildflowers and harvested by local communities. The flowers are processed and combined with a biopolymer to form high-performance, low-impact insulating fibers.

FLWRDWN™ is our flagship innovation which launched in 2019 and is now being developed into a range of insulating materials. In 2021, we launched FLWRDWN™ Lite, our lightweight version designed to be worn all year round.

Chemicals in focus

What's the problem?

Many of the chemicals used in the textile and apparel industry are derived from petrochemicals. This is problematic because we need to stop extracting finite fossil fuels from the ground.

Synthetic chemical solutions are not all bad. In fact, some have allowed the use of less water and less energy, and longer-lasting color fastness in the dyeing process, compared to ‘natural’ alternatives. But this must be balanced with chemical safety.

What's the solution?

With our partners, we are innovating new solutions for textile dyeing and finishing. In our Planet chapter, we shared that the dyeing and finishing stage of production is linked to major emission release, and through our LCAs, we have uncovered that this stage also has a high water consumption. Therefore, innovation in this space is a priority for us.

For dyeing, we are developing solutions with Colorifix. Colorifix bioengineers organisms to develop and fix pigments onto textiles. This biological process is more efficient than industrial chemical processes. In 2021 we launched a capsule of Colorifix dyed pieces in our 365 range.

For printing, we have partnered with Air-ink, a start-up that captures exhaust emissions and extracts the carbon from them, which can then be used as ink. Our collaboration in 2021 led to a range of printed pieces that we hope can expand across other products requiring black ink.

For activewear, textile finishings are necessary for temperature control, moisture-wicking, and breathability. These finishings are typically created from petrochemicals. In 2021 we were the first brand to launch products using MiDori® bioWick - a revolutionary biobased moisture-wicking finish for high-performance textiles, where the active ingredient is 100% dried microalgae biomass.

Textiles with antimicrobial finishes (which work against a broad spectrum of microbes including bacteria, mold, mildew, algae, and even viruses) typically require chemical formulations containing heavy metals, such as silver. Such metals can cause toxicity in wastewater when untreated. To avoid this, we use PPRMINT™ - a formulation containing peppermint essential oil, which is extracted from the plant with steam.

How we think about Materials

Material Classification

From design to production, we endeavor to source raw materials responsibly and to ensure our products have a lower impact than those conventionally available today. We currently have 2 ways of assessing materials before we determine if they are the right fit for our supply chain and values.

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - Whenever possible, we analyze LCA data behind new materials to better understand the environmental impact.
  • Preferred Material List (PML) - Introduced in 2021 and updated throughout the year, this is a broader overview of the materials we work with and how they rank against our impact evaluations, inclusive of LCA insights and additional impact metrics.

Material Hierarchy

Natural Cellulosics

ChampionsRunner Ups Middle of the PackLaggardsDrop Outs
Regenerative Cotton 100%In transition Regenerative CottonCertified Organic Cotton ..
Organic Linen & Organic Hemp 100% Mechanically Recycled Cotton >50% In transition Organic Certified Cotton..
Organic Kapok 100% Conventional LinenMechanical Recycled Cotton <50%..
. Conventional HempConventional Nettle..
. Conventional Kapok...

Natural Protein

ChampionsRunner Ups Middle of the PackLaggardsDrop Outs
Regenerative Cashmere 100%Pre-Consumer Recycled Cashmere 100%Organic Wool <50% Pre-Consumer Recycled Cashmere <80%Conventional Silk
Post-Consumer Recycled Cashmere 100% Pre-Consumer Recycled Alpaca 100%Recycled Wool <50%RWS Wool <50%Conventional Wool
. Responsible Wool Standard>50%Recycled Cashmere >80%Pre-consumer Recycled Alpaca <80%Conventional Cashmere
. Recycled Wool >50%..Animal Fur
. ...Animal Leather
. ...Recycled Leather

Man-made, natural polymer, cellulosic (aka MMCF)

ChampionsRunner Ups Middle of the PackLaggardsDrop Outs
.Infinna™C-FIBER™.Viscose
. NuCycl™PLNTFIBER™.Rayon
. .FRUTFIBER™.Modal
..Bamboo Lyocell .Cupro
. .Circulose™..
. .Lyocell..

Man-made, synthetic polymer, bio-synthetic

ChampionsRunner Ups Middle of the PackLaggardsDrop Outs
KINTRA100% Bio-based Nylon100% Bio-based PLA ..
FLWRDWN™ 100% Biodegradable Nylon ...
100% Bio-based & Biodegradable Nylon - This doesn't exist, yet! 30% - 100% Bio-based Elastane...
100% Bio-based & Biodegradable Elastane - This doesn't exist, yet! VEGEA™ Leather *For accessories only...
. Spiber™...

Man-made, synthetic polymer, petrochemical

ChampionsRunner Ups Middle of the PackLaggardsDrop Outs
Recycled Elastane 50% - 100%100% Biodegradable NylonROICA™ V550 - Where stretch is essential to designPre-Consumer Mechanically Recycled Polyester (ePET) *For accessories onlyConventional Polyester
. Post-Consumer Mechanically Recycled NylonPre-Consumer Mechanically Recycled NylonPre-Consumer Chemically rPET. For accessories onlyConventional Elastane
. Recycled Elastane >50%Pre-consumer Chemically Recycled NylonRecycled Elastane <50% Conventional PLA
. .Certified Post-Consumer rPET (mechanically or chemically recycled) .Conventional Nylon
. ...Polyurethane
. ...PVC


What informs our Preferred Material List

We consider as broad a scope as we possibly can when evaluating materials and plotting them against our PML. These include end-of-life pathways, visibility of the supply chain and raw material inputs, LCA results, certifications, chemical and water intensity, recycled and diverted waste streams, geographical provenance, end-use of the material, and performance against conventional alternatives.

Champions

These are materials that encompass the most progressive standards in their category, often bringing benefits to more than one sustainability issue at once. They are at the forefront of innovative systems, which makes them special, rare, and more challenging to access today. We’re on a mission to scale their positive impact.

In 2021, 2% of our products featured Champion materials. Our next milestone is to reach a 15% mix of Champions.

Runner Ups

These materials offer commercially accessible solutions to our greatest impact concerns. They are often the best solutions available today and act as important stepping stones toward their future Champion replacements.

Runner Ups made up 21% of our materials in 2021.

Middle of the Pack

These materials meet reasonable baseline requirements when it comes to impact considerations and are frequently readily available in today’s textile industry, which make them a dominant category in our portfolio today.

In 2021, our customers showed a strong preference for our products made of organic cotton, which meant that 66% of our products fell into Middle of the Pack materials.

For this important category of materials, we see great potential for improvements towards transitioning from organic to regenerative sources. We are proud to be diversifying this category with our contributions as an over-reliance on any single material stream exacerbates their footprint. However, we also recognize that these qualities have room to improve.

Laggards & Drop Outs

Laggards are those materials that we only ever use if they are critical to a functional purpose or if no better alternatives exist today. We see them as short-term compromises while we look or invent better alternatives.

In 2021, we did not use any Laggards in our main materials. However, these compositions do feature in our trims which we aren’t reporting on yet (work in progress!).

Drop Outs are materials we will never consider. Their harmful impacts far outweigh any reasons to use them.

We did not use any materials falling in this category in 2021.

While we do our best to steer our material direction in the most responsible way, we are also regularly faced with difficult choices that challenge our impact principles. As we strive for Champions across the board, we often have to make compromises in the short term while we investigate the longer-term innovations that have the potential to deliver all of our impact ambitions (i.e. low bio-based content in our bio-polymer development but could yield great results in the future!). Therefore, this PML is reviewed regularly throughout the year to reflect the evolution in our own knowledge as well as the expansions of our product ranges and innovation landscape.

Life Cycle Assessments

Our LCAs provide insight into the environmental impact of our product’s production cycle, from raw materials to manufacturing and distribution. We work with our partners to measure, interpret and then reduce the environmental footprint of our products.

We conduct our product Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) in partnership with Green Story.

Our LCAs measure cradle-to-gate impacts across 13 impact metrics which include global warming potential, water and energy consumption, human toxicity levels, freshwater ecotoxicity, and ozone layer depletion, to name a few. The analysis of each metric spans upstream fiber, yarn, fabric, dyeing, textile finishing, and garment assembly processes.

Each metric is vital and important, and over time, we are building out a data framework capable of drawing meaningful insights across all measurements. For now, we have chosen to prioritize our attention on Blue Water Consumption, Global Warming Potential, and Primary Energy Demand.

We're proud of this:

Analyzing the footprint of 96% of our materials by volume has been an enormous task, and underpins our commitment to quantifying and reducing our impact and targeting smart solutions.

What?

Primary Energy Demand

Why?

Everything requires energy and has an associated footprint attributed to it.

This metric looks at the sum of all energy (both direct and indirect) used to transform or transport raw materials into products and powering machinery such as heating dye baths.

What?

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

Why?

Global warming happens because greenhouse gasses (GHGs) trap heat in the atmosphere, but each gas causes different levels of heating.

GWP compares the heat energy that 1 ton of any greenhouse gas absorbs to what 1 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbs. CO2 traps less energy than other greenhouse gasses, but it does so over a very long period of time, so its GWP is 1. Methane, on the other hand, has a GWP of around 28–36 because it lasts only about a decade on average, but absorbs much more energy than CO2. The larger the GWP, the more that gas warms the Earth compared to CO2. Therefore, reducing methane in the short term may slow down heating quickly, but in the long term, it is carbon dioxide that needs to be eliminated to hold temperatures stable at or below 1.5 degrees.

What?

Blue Water Consumption

Why?

Water moves naturally in cycles and diverting it from those cycles (for example, pumping it from rivers to use for textile dyeing) can have an impact on water availability and quality. Water consumption allows us to measure such impacts.

Blue water consumption models water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources and is either evaporated, incorporated into a product, or taken from one body of water and/or returned to another. Irrigated agriculture, industry, and domestic water use can each have a blue water footprint.* * Water Foorprint Network, What is a water footprint? (accessed December 2021) Looking into our water footprint shows us the hotspots in our supply chain's water dependencies.

In 2021, we assessed these materials and processes:

  1. Cotton: both organic and recycled blends
  2. MMCFs (Lycocell qualities, PLNTFIBER™, C-Fiber™, and FRUTFiber™)
  3. Animal Fibers (Cashmere, Wool)
  4. Linen
  5. Nylon
  6. Stretch (our activewear and move qualities with elastane)
  7. Denim (Hemp & Nettle)
  8. FLWRDWN™ (Heavy & Light)
  9. PPRMINT™ treatment
  10. Cotton Dyeing

LCA Results vs PRODUCTION 2021Global Warming Potential (GWP 100 years) kg CO2 eq.Blue water consumption [kg]Primary energy demand from ren. and non ren. resources (net cal. value) [MJ]
Total by PRODUCTION (2021)3 464 676,7205 916 888,764 284 099,9
Sheep Farming6%1%2%
Cultivation & Fiber Production2%19%11%
Yarn Production19%4%18%
Sizing0%0%0%
Knitted Fabric Production/Weaving6%1%6%
Dyeing51%21%46%
Cut & Sew6%0%6%
Garment Washing0%0%0%
Waste Water Treatment0%0%60%
Inner Transport2%0%2%
Distribution4%0%3%

We discovered that the dyeing and finishing stages have the highest environmental impacts across all material qualities. This stage is 64% more carbon-intensive than the second-highest impact category: yarn production. Our goal is to reduce emissions related to dyeing and finishing by 10% in 2022, with annual reductions eventually reaching a 75% reduction by 2025 and a 100% reduction by 2040.

These targets are central to our decarbonization strategy and rely on us working with partners to transition to renewable energy, localize production for various material qualities, and explore solutions with our R&D team to develop low water and low energy solutions. Additionally, we will increase the amount of primary data we harvest to improve the accuracy of our LCA modeling.

We’re proud of this:

83% of our products available online are Climate Positive. This means we use the results of our LCAs to offset footprint to Carbon Neutral. By additionally planting, protecting or restoring a plant with every purchase, each product becomes Climate Positive. Look out for our Climate Positive call-out on our website product pages for more information!

Case study: Zeroing in on our 365 range

Did you know?

Cotton accounts for 80% of the global natural cellulosic fiber market and just 1% of this cotton is organic.* * Textile Exchange, Preferred Fiber & Materials Market Report 2021.

Our LCAs revealed that cotton (organic and recycled) comprises 81% of PANGAIA’s total fiber mix by volume.

There are a number of environmental and social issues that can arise from cotton production, including water and pesticide consumption. These risks depend on many factors, including local climatic conditions and variation in farming practices.

From our analysis, we learned that the biggest footprint of our 365 cotton range is in the dyeing stage of production, which takes place in Portugal. This is consistent across all 3 metrics of primary energy demand, global warming potential, and blue water consumption. The main reason for this is the thermal energy and electricity consumption involved during the dyeing process.

Key actions we plan to take are:

  • Discuss improvement of water recovery processes with our suppliers (particularly as Portugal faces medium-high water risks).
  • Work with factories to increase renewable energy use.
  • Investing in new dye innovations including Colorifix (which requires only a quarter of the processing cycles of conventional dyeing, saving both energy and water).

Systems

Regenerative Systems

This year, we laid the foundations to define how PANGAIA will engage with regenerative systems. This means we have identified what we want to measure and have nominated priority materials for exploration.


As you can see from our Preferred Material List and LCAs, cotton is of huge strategic importance for PANGAIA’s Material Strategy.

The problem with current agricultural systems :

  • They exist in inherently extractive systems (meaning they take more from the planet than they give back) that do not prioritize critical components such as soil health, pesticide use, farmer livelihoods, and equity.
  • Many agricultural systems currently focus on mono-cropping (growing one singular species of plant, i.e. cotton or palm), which generates landscapes that lack biodiversity and other co-benefits, and increases the risk of disease and pest outbreaks.
  • As we face the climate crisis, farmers are facing extreme climatic conditions in the form of droughts and irregular rainfall, which can have devastating consequences for communities that depend on agricultural systems for their livelihoods, as well as having detrimental effects on the quality of the raw material being harvested.
  • Many cropping systems exist in water-stressed regions with poor irrigation systems and poor water quality, which can affect yield, and can critically affect surrounding communities with irregular incomes.
  • Current systems can have an over-reliance on chemical inputs for pest control, which is both damaging the land and has high production costs for farmers.

The Regenerative Solution

Regenerative agriculture encompasses holistic practices that create net beneficial impacts on ecosystem services. These activities must provide net beneficial economic and social impacts for farmers and local communities to ensure sustainability over the long term.* * As defined by PUR Projet.

“At Pangaia, we aim to source materials from nature that give back more than they take.

We are committed to creating and measuring the social and environmental impact we have in all landscapes we depend on, we do this by supporting approaches that are consistent with the six regenerative agriculture principles as defined by our partner, PUR Projet.

Together, we are building strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders (farmers, suppliers, research institutes, brands) to embark collectively on this regenerative pathway towards earth positive supply chains.

We will advocate wildly for regenerative agriculture in the hope others follow us in this transition.”

The 6 principles of our Regenerative programs

What regenerative outcomes we want to achieve

What indicators will we track to measure our progress

Regenerative principlesIndicatorsSoil HealthClimateWaterBiodiversityLivelihoodsCommunity empowerment
Keep soil covered and minimize soil loss Ground cover++++
Proportion of soil covered per year++ +
Minimize soil disturbanceProportion of untilled cultivated land per year++ +
Maximize diversity of plants in rotation and in cover cropsPlant diversity+++ ++
Conserve and rejuvenate natural resourcesContaminated runoff water management+ + +
Water usage + +
Proportion of natural habitats on agricultural land+++++
Reduce and replace off-farm inputsReliance on Synthetic inputs+ +
Soil Nitrogen balance assessment
Long term viability and livelihood benefits for farmersFarm Revenues /Cost Model +
Farmer Knowledge of Ecosystem Services tied of Reg AG +

Going Forward

We are expanding our cotton sourcing beyond organic and recycled to transitioning towards regenerative practices in cotton.

This year, we developed a deeper partnership with one of our key suppliers, Arvind, to help smallholder cotton farmers in India embark on their transition towards regenerative practices. Understanding the reality in the field and tracking regenerative indicators is a priority for us, in the year ahead. We also partner with PUR Project, an impact-driven organization focused on regenerative agriculture and nature-based solutions, to help us promote regenerative agriculture principles across our strategic raw materials supply chains.

For the time being, we are harnessing our efforts on regenerative cotton projects with a view of scaling these efforts beyond cotton to other agricultural systems, such as agroforestry (e.g. materials derived from forests such as rubber) and improved pasture management systems (for materials derived from the herding and management of animals such as wool).

Circular Systems

We consider circular systems, like innovative materials, to be another tool to enable our Earth Positive mission. Current linear business models are resource intensive - meaning they take resources away from the planet without any net benefit or return. We need to shift our business models to reduce environmental harm by decoupling growth from resource consumption and pollution. By employing circular models, we want to minimize resource consumption, eliminate waste and extend the life of our products.

We are shifting to a system where we

We are only at the beginning of our circular roadmap. So far, we have categorized some clear pathways and taken a few steps in circulating resources through recycled and waste-derived material compositions, as well as bread-crumbing circular traceability by embedding digital products passports in many of our collections.

Keep watching this space for more of our progress, which we will be moving forward on in 2022 and beyond.

Circularity in practice There are several paths we are exploring and our approach to circularity is currently focused on:

Circular Business Models

Looking into future business models where we would offer Materials As A Service, such that we take responsibility for the maintenance, reuse, repair and ultimately recycling of our product. We’re not there yet but watch this space!

Clean Resources

Manufacturing products from non-toxic, renewable, recycled, and recyclable materials, or using processes that design waste out.

Circular Design

Designing products for multiple uses, for easy repair and maintenance, and for easy disassembly once reuse or repair of the whole is no longer possible.

Resource Recovery

More efficient ways to recover materials at the end of their first life and prepare them for a successful second (or third, or fourth) life.

Resource Efficiency

Producing more with less.

Circular ID

We have partnered with EON to create scannable QR digital passports onto our PANGAIA care labels that unlock a bespoke digital platform that shows you the journey of your product, accelerating our move towards greater transparency, traceability, and circularity. Think of it like a digital passport that unlocks everything you need to know about your product lifecycle—from how it is made, to its journey from us to you, aftercare tips, your direct environmental impact savings, and more. The digital passports will bring together all product-specific data into one place available at any time at the click of a button.

These digital passports will bridge the gap as we continue to explore wider circular solutions. Product digitization is fundamental to driving industry change and accelerating an Earth Positive future—one which gives back more than it takes. Throughout 2021 and 2022, we will be adding digital passports across new and existing product categories, with new lines being every month.

We're proud of this:

We tagged 14 out of our 30 collections with digital passports in 2021 and plan to expand our coverage beyond this in 2022.

Key progress markers

  • Launched PANGAIA lab to scale breakthrough material innovations.
  • Introduced 7 new materials and 3 finishes.
  • Introduced our Preferred Materials List with 2% of our materials featuring ‘Champion materials’ and 21% of our materials being ‘Runner Ups’.
  • Conducted LCAs for 96% of our materials by volume.
  • 83% of our products available online are Climate Positive.
  • Laid foundations for our Regenerative Systems strategy.
  • Started developing our Circularity roadmap.
  • Partnered with EON and tagged 14 out of 30 collections with digital passports.

Going forward

We are proud of the progress we have made in 2021 - we have focused on impact measurement, innovation launches, and systems scoping. As we look ahead to 2022, we are committed to delivering material science-led innovation while engaging meaningfully with the systems and supply chains we depend on. This means doubling down on our data collection and impact measurement, pushing our material mix, and leveraging data insights to inform innovation developments and impact reductions.