Pangaia is making a play for the world of physical retail, and it’s enlisting an American department-store mainstay to bring its message of “high-tech naturalism” to a larger audience.
The London-based materials-science firm announced Wednesday that it’s partnering with New Concepts@Nordstrom to create an “immersive” store within a store at 13 brick-and-mortar locations, including the Nordstrom Men’s Store in New York City, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, Nordstrom Century City in Los Angeles and Nordstrom Domain Northside in Austin.
Running from Feb. 10 to early May, the activation marks Pangaia’s first IRL retail experience in North America. (The company previously launched popups in Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Selfridges in the United Kingdom and Galeries Lafayette in Paris.)
Concept 016: Pangaia will offer a slew of the startup’s planet-pampering innovations, including a spanking new denim collection made with Himalayan nettle (PANnettle) and rain-fed hemp (PANhemp), which Pangaia developed with former Levi’s designer Jonathan Cheung and denim mills Candiani and Orta.
Its 365 range of core essentials, featuring plush organic and recycled cotton hoodies and sweatshirts in a range of bright solids, will make an appearance, as will its signature puffers stuffed with Flwrdwn (pronounced “flower down”), a cruelty-free bio-based insulation derived in part from wildflowers. Also up for grabs will be T-shirts and dresses made with C-fiber, a cotton alternative blended from eucalyptus pulp and seaweed powder that Pangaia says “harnesses the harmony and natural power of both the earth and the ocean.”
The looks qualify for Nordstrom’s Sustainable Style category, which highlights products that are made with environmentally friendly materials and processes. The retailer has pledged to ensure that 15 percent of its product falls into this silo by 2025.
“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, senior vice president 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 said it will be using the site to “de-mystify” science, taking customers on a “journey of discovery” across its different technologies using colorful visuals. (Need to brush up on your elements? The storage at some of the locations will look like the periodic table.) To create a “climate positive” space, Pangaia will be offsetting the popup’s entire carbon footprint, plus an extra 10 percent, by taking into account employee commutes, material use, material transport, electricity and heating.
Concept 016: Pangaia, it added, is part of its broader Pangaia Pact, an initiative that epitomizes the brand’s focus on becoming “earth positive” through the “key pillars” of carbon neutrality, circularity and purpose. As part of the activation, Pangaia will make a donation to the Tomorrow Tree Fund, which has committed to protect, plant and restore 1 million trees across the globe.
“We are happy to be entering physical retail in North America with such an iconic and forward-thinking partner as Nordstrom,” said the so-called “Pangaia collective,” which includes scientists, technologists and designers. “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.”