Jul 27, 2023
by Karl Smith
PANGAIA, Haeckels and C16’s New Soap Is Cleaning Up Our Palm Oil Problem
by Karl Smith
Jul 27, 2023

Over the last few years, materials science brand PANGAIA has gotten more and more adventurous. While keeping its signature color-pop aesthetic, the London-based company has simultaneously pushed forward into new niches of clothing, new sustainable materials, and campaigned for vital new causes.

Tied to all of this, PANGAIA has also continued to up its game when it comes to collaboration. This year alone we’ve seen link-ups with Natural Fiber Welding on the first piece of MIRUM clothing sold at scale, with Zellerfeld on a recyclable, 3D-printed sneaker, and with Spiber on its circular brewed protein program.

Continuing that trend, PANAGAIA has announced another foray into new collaborative territory: a new soap, created in partnership with Haeckels and C16 Biosciences.

Described as a rainforest-friendly alternative to regular soaps, the planet-first cosmetic venture is the first product of its kind to be made with Palmless™, a low-impact replacement for the ubiquitous yet highly-destructive palm oil. According to the World Wildlife Fund, palm oil is “in close to 50% of the packaged products we find in supermarkets, everything from pizza, doughnuts and chocolate, to deodorant, shampoo,” making it difficult to avoid.

But, despite its prevalence in so many inexpensive products, the cost of palm oil production is dire. Not only does the deforestation caused by clearing eliminate swathes of Earth’s natural air purifier, “throwing out millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change,” it also destroys the habitats of already severely endangered wildlife like the Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino.

Brought together by PANGAIA, Palmless™ – a skin-nourishing, fermented product derived from Torula which comes courtesy of the decarbonization-focused, NYC-based C16 – is blended with seaweed extract and squalane from UK-based Blue Beauty specialist Haeckels.

The result – dubbed the “REWILD Body Block” and described as “Cleansing, moisturizing, woodsy” – is a consciously-crafted cosmetic product designed to combat the devastating deforestation caused by the harvesting of palm oil – and, of course, as with PANGAIA’s other recent collaborations, set an example for other brands to make better choices for the planet.

The REWILD Body Block is available now, online via PANGAIA and Haeckels and in person at Selfridges in London.