Matcha. Blueberry. Rooibos. Pairing palettes with palates is an old trick to make a product sound extra-appetizing.
Trust Pangaia, however, to up the ante. For its latest capsule collection, the material-science brand employed dyes made from literal foodstuffs.
The delectable technology comes courtesy of Toyoshima & Co., a Japanese firm that transforms food waste from manufacturers, farms and coffeehouses to create what it calls a “unique dye solution.” The process, the company said, involves extracting color from the food residue and applying it to the yarn.
Roughly a billion tons of food waste wind up in the trash every year worldwide, according to the United Nations Environment Programme’s 2021 Food Waste Index.
Pangaia mined the abovementioned ingredients to create its matcha green, rooibos red and blueberry blue hues, which it used to clad its signature 100 percent organic cotton T-shirts ($120), joggers ($250) and hoodies ($259).
Available exclusively on pangaia.com, the lineup marks a “step forward” in Pangaia’s mission to become “earth positive” by reducing the use of toxic chemicals and curtailing waste.
The dyes join a library of planet-friendlier pigments that Pangaia has been expanding. Just last month, the athleisure maker feted hues made with its own textile trash. It has also experimented with bacteria-grown colorants and air pollution-derived ink.
The firm has been using its capsules as testbeds for broader commercialization. The idea is to work out any kinks before scaling up begins in earnest, both for its wider line and its B2B platform.
“There are so many things that come up that for traditional brands might be a bottleneck that stops innovation. So we have to work through [problems] with innovators to get to the stage before you say, ‘I want 100,000 units,’” Pangaia chief innovation officer Amanda Parkes previously told Sourcing Journal.
One thing’s for sure: Panagia won’t be playing favorites when it comes to tinting its threads.
“We believe that using a multiplicity of solutions to address our varying dye needs is the most effective way to create resiliency in our supply chain and in particular, promote utilization of waste in the manufacturing process,” she said.