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Pangaia Works Up a Sweat With Sustainable Activewear

Pangaia is getting physical.

Following what it describes as a “year of accelerated growth,” the London-based materials science label is branching out into a new category: activewear.

“We have a very engaged community from whom we continue to learn, and we have seen a huge uptick in feedback about the science behind each of our products as well as questions about new product categories,” a spokesperson told Sourcing Journal. “Activewear is a consistent request from our customers.”

So the brand delivered, but not without putting its own spin on yoga leggings, bra tops, jumpsuits and gym shorts. While the bulk of today’s “sustainable” activewear comprises recycled synthetic fibers, largely derived from castoff plastic bottles or fishing nets, which can shed microplastics in the wash, Pangaia says it sees a future for workout togs that are “renewable, bio-based and circular.”

Pangaia Gym is the “first step.” Each of the garments is made predominantly from renewable sources, 90 percent or more of which are bio-based. Materials include bio-based nylon, made from non-edible castor oil, and Roica V550, a Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified stretch yarn that can be safely degraded by microorganisms in an oxygen-rich environment. The brand has also marshaled its signature peppermint odor-control treatment, along with its newer C-fiber, a blend of eucalyptus pulp and seaweed powder produced using a closed-loop process that recycles water and reuses up to 99 percent of its solvents.

Pangaia is the first company to roll out a product with bioWick, a 100 percent bio-based biocarbon moisture-wicking treatment, derived from microalgae, which it says it hopes will “help drive sustainable innovation in this category moving forward.”

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The breakthrough technology helped it navigate what was one of its biggest challenges: how to withstand intensive sweat sessions without compromising its environmental standards. “Specifically, for activewear, we had to navigate the fine balance between performance and sustainability,” the spokesperson said.

All this is all part of Pangaia’s ethos of “high-tech naturalism,” which involves taking materials abundantly found in nature and bolstering them with science and technology to tackle the fashion’s environmental shortfalls, such as waste and pollution.

The label is “teasing” the collection ahead of its launch with a campaign that borrows nostalgic and playful cues from 1980s infomercials that “flips the script on the portrayal of the world of performance activewear.” Pangaia chose to include a number of its own employees in the content, celebrating its community while aligning with its focus on “authenticity, realness and driving joy.”

Pangaia Gym will be available for purchase on the company’s website from June 29. Prices will range from $65 for a pair of shorts to $140 for a hoodie.