Thursday, September 21, 2023

Pangaia Makes Its North American Debut With a Climate Positive Pop-Up


Leading department store Nordstrom is getting a jump on Earth Day with the launch of its first climate positive pop-up, Concept 016, in partnership with materials science company Pangaia.

Nordstrom’s sustainable pop-up, Concept 016, was developed and designed alongside the materials science-based circular fashion brand Pangaia. It also marks the British brand’s first physical retail location in North America.

The shop aims to orient consumers to Pangaia’s innovation and its high-tech naturalism. The circular fashion-focused brand says the shop is meant to be an immersive experience showing how it works by taking “the abundance of nature” and infusing it with “high tech yet sustainable processes to augment functionality.”

This, Pangaia says, brings out the best in nature, “through science, and enables the creation of innovative material solutions that utilize waste in a more effective way.”


“We are honored that Pangaia has chosen Nordstrom as their first North American retail partner and look forward to introducing their offering to our customers,” Sam Lobban, SVP of Designer and New Concepts at Nordstrom, said in a statement. “We have long admired the brand’s commitment to creating products rooted in innovation and science and are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our business through projects like Concept 016.”

Pangaia is unique in the industry; the faceless company considers itself a global collective “of one heart and many hands” that includes scientists, technologists, designers all working with innovative tech and bio-engineered materials.

The brand has caught the attention of Net-A-Porter co-founder and investor Carmen Busquets, as well as Shiv Khemka, Vice Chairman of the SUN Group, an Indian media conglomerate.

Jaden Smith, the MSFTS co-founder who also co-founded Just Water alongside his dad, actor Will Smith, is also an investor. Smith has also invested in vegan meat brand Impossible Foods.

Pangaia launched its first product globally at the end of 2018 and has since been focused on materials science and direct-to-consumer collections often created in partnership with artists and designers who share the brand’s vision for sustainable and climate-positive production.

Image courtesy Pangaia

In 2019, it brought to market a flower-based down alternative dubbed “FLWRDWN” in a puffer jacket filled with flowers instead of down feathers. The company says its tests on the flower fill show that it performs either comparable to or better than down across insulation, flammability, and allergen risks, without the ethical issues or environmental footprint of traditional down fill.

Last November, the brand launched its second collection of sustainable denim with a new material called Panhemp. That was a partnership with Unspun, which designs bespoke products for each customer by taking measurements via a ten-second iPhone scan that uses AI software. Hemp can be grown without pesticides and has triple the yield of cotton per acre.

Pangaia’s other innovative materials include C-Fiber, a fusion of eucalyptus pulp and seaweed powder that it says is an alternative to cotton. While cotton is a natural fiber, it is also one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world.

PaNettle is Pangaia’s unique blend of Himalayan nettle and organic cotton that it says creates an added softness. The fabric is coated with a trademarked peppermint-based oil aimed at preserving freshness and the life of fabrics to reduce the use of water and energy.

Concept 016

The Nordstrom pop-up is part of Pangaia’s latest initiative, Pangaia Pact—a focus on its “earth positive” efforts and being an impact-led business; it’s focused on three pillars including carbon neutrality, circularity, and purpose. Concept 016 will not only highlight Pangaia’s unique technology and sustainability commitments, but the shop itself will be climate positive by measuring and offsetting the shop’s entire carbon footprint, including employee commutes, material use and transport, as well as on-site electricity and heating use.

Image courtesy Pangaia

Concept 016 will feature products across categories for adults and kids. It’s also part of Nordstrom’s Sustainable Style category, which it says will make up at least 15 percent of its offerings by 2025.

“We are happy to be entering physical retail in North America with such an iconic and forward-thinking partner as Nordstrom,” said the Pangaia collective. “Positive change comes from the collective behavior of people and businesses alike, and our partnership with Nordstrom is no exception; through our shared values, our carbon-neutral store experience, combined philanthropic action and active communities, we look forward to showcasing materials innovations and breakthrough solutions—in the most accessible way possible.”

Concept 016 runs through May online and in 13 select locations across Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and Vancouver.


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