Dec 14, 2022
by Karl Smith
PANGAIA Goes Bio-Based to Usher In the Era of Activewear 3.0
by Karl Smith
Dec 14, 2022

Activewear and the natural world aren’t always the close-knit team you might expect them to be. Yes, on the one hand, you’d think that those people ostensibly mindful enough to engage in holistic self-care might also be somewhat mindful toward other kinds of care. Perhaps even less inward-looking kinds. And, yes, with so many of the things we tend to think of first when we think about the word “active” being very much outdoor pursuits – that care for the natural environment would be right there among them.

Alas, though, this is so often not the case. More often than not, it seems, active apparel and accessories – even from the cult brands with aesthetics and marketing materials which heavily suggest otherwise with their co-opting of nature and of experience – are put together from virgin synthetics, with more thought given to technology than sustainability. More thought to moisture wicking than to water usage in production.

Still, there are exceptions. And PANGAIA – a brand which it’s fair to say at this point is known equally for its carbon initiatives as for its color-block designs – has offered us another one; a range of activewear crafted from bio-based materials and Fulgar‘s castor oil-derived EVO® YARN.

Which is exactly what Amanda Parkes, Chief Innovation Officer at PANGAIA notes in a statement on the partnership. “The activewear sector generally uses materials with entirely petro-chemical origins, reflecting a need for significant benefits in moisture absorption and performance. However, the introduction of a greater number of bio-based materials means we’ve been able to replace fossil fuels with renewable resources.”

Mimicking top-flight nylon, Fulgar’s low-impact yarn is light, stretchy, breathable, and boasts natural bacteriostatic qualities – all of which make the material, which also happens to be both renewable and sustainable, an obvious choice for high-performance activity.

This partnership – which Fulgar’s Head of Marketing describes as “a significant recognition of our long-standing commitment to eco-sustainable research and development towards an ethical, circular and increasingly sustainable activewear supply chain” – continues to cement PANGAIA’s self-description as a “materials science” brand, rather than as a fashion label, as an accurate representation.

Dubbed “Activewear 3.0,” the collection not only uses the castor-sourced EVO, but also what the brand describes as a “first-to-market, part plant-based Creora® elastane,” which allows for PANGAIA’s Activewear 3.0 to keep “the same comfort and stretch, with a better material output.”

Noting that “Creora® is the only elastane in the world to not be 100% fully fossil-fuel based,” being made with 30% biobased matter, PANGAIA also nods to the progress over perfection philosophy we share here at FUTUREVVORLD – making necessary and exciting gains in the present moment, whilst acknowledging the room and requirement for further improvement that the 30% leaves – working, as the company explains in clear and transparent language on its website, that it is working on “significantly raising that percentage.”

With room, also, for further expansion of the collection, PANGAIA’s “Activewear 3.0” release currently only covers a selection of women’s apparel – shorts, leggings, crop tops and underwear – coming in “Black,” “Cerulean Blue,” and “Foliage Green,” with prices ranging from $55 USD to $100 USD.

In other three-related news, take a look at the new 3D-printed sneaker from Finn Rush-Taylor and Zellerfeld. Or, if its materials science you’re interested in, why not listen to the FUTUREVVORLD “Progress Over Perfection” podcast with Luke Haverhals of Natural Fiber Welding?