We really enjoy making these podcasts. It’s a huge privilege to speak to the players in the industry who are reinventing the game, taking fashion and design to new heights in eco-consciousness. In Episode 2 of the second season of Progress Over Perfection, FVV’s Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Daniel Navetta sits down with one of the more intriguing names in the material and design world, Dr. Amanda Parkes.
Dr. Parkes is the scientific and strategic driving force behind PANGAIA, a brand that we’ve highlighted several times on FUTUREVVORLD. Its collection of colorful wardrobe basics are not as basic as they seem. Lift the lid and you’ll find biodegradable sweat suits made from eucalyptus plants, accessories made from a mushroom leather alternative, and sunglasses made from carbon dioxide.
With a background in computer and material science plus a wealth of art and design experience, Dr. Parkes operates in an interesting space. Her role as Chief Innovation Officer means she oversees how the company sources materials and which projects it invests in.
In this interview, she discusses what she calls the “valley of death” between the research lab and the commercial fashion industry, and how PANGAIA acts as a bridge over that gap. She also gives us her thoughts on regulations in the sustainability industry, coming into fashion through the back door, and what we’re getting wrong about microplastics.
Sustainability is not about finding one perfect solution. It’s about progress. The only competition for brands should be the materials and processes that are harmful to our planet. “In the same way that nature functions best when you have biodiversity, we really see that in the same way for the material ecology and economy of our brand,” says Dr. Parkes.