Lane Crawford launched materials science company Pangaia in January. [Photo provided to China Daily]
Protecting the environment and sustainability are among the most pressing social issues facing the world today.
In the fashion industry, for instance, while well-known brands are trying to promote the transformation to sustainability, some emerging brands are going with sustainability as a core concept.
The materials science company Pangaia, which launched in 2018, is one such case. It was launched by six scientists from interdisciplinary fields: smart materials research, environmental protection, innovative technology, luxury retail, augmented reality and financial investment. The strong background of the founders made Pangaia's first product quickly stand out－a T-shirt collection that costs about 350-520 yuan ($55 to $85).
Having been developed for more than two years, the collection is made of 20 percent seaweed fiber and 80 percent organic cotton, which greatly improves the air permeability and water absorption capacity of the clothes. In addition, PPRMINT™, the company's trademark technology that covers each fabric fiber with natural peppermint oil has been added. Fresher for longer, less water wasted in washing, and a longer product life has become the major concept of the new collection, as well as the highlight of the brand.
The brand also launched the FLWRDWN series of down jackets in December 2019, using natural dry flowers to replace feathers of geese and ducks as jacket fillers, which are biodegradable. After 10 years of research, Pangaia has applied for a patent of the technique.
In September 2020, a "zero waste sneaker" made of grape skin, organic cotton and recyclable rubber was launched by the company. All grape skins required for production are recycled from Italian wineries.
The successful release of the company's "environmental protection and sustainability" products has been recognized by the luxury department store Lane Crawford. The Asia exclusive offline launch of Pangaia's products took place on Jan 12 at Lane Crawford Shanghai Times Square, its mall in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and digital flagship store. The collection includes everyday wardrobe staples in organic cotton, recycled cotton, plus proprietary C-FIBER™ and PPRMINT™ fabrics.
Meanwhile, lifestyle accessories such as hats, bottles and stationery will also be launched. The price of the brand ranges from 250 yuan for a lifestyle product to 1,650 yuan for a signature sweatshirt hoodie.
"Pangaia is a brand that puts sustainability at the heart of the business. It's a brand that is redefining what luxury is in today's world－it is about people coming together, having time, enjoying nature and being conscious of the planet," says Seville Chow, senior vice-president of fashion, Lane Crawford.
"We chose Pangaia because they are developing new standards across the industry, and we are excited to be able to present the product collection and also educate our customers on their sustainability credentials."
Chow explains that as a materials science-led fashion label specializing in technology, design, marketing and supply chain, it focuses on innovative technology, natural sustainable resources and bioengineered materials, and also drives solutions with other companies as a platform.
Lane Crawford also sees the partnership as an opportunity to inspire customers. The first carbon neutral pop-up store has been launched, in which a circular-walled, live peppermint-potted garden was installed to pay tribute to the trademarked fabric.
"We want to inform and excite our customers that they can be cool, stylish and responsible at the same time," Chow says. "We value products that are solution-focused."
Lane Crawford initiated its Global Creative Call Out program in 2015, aiming to discover and nurture emerging designers. Through this project, Lane Crawford has helped to launch 80 young labels by identifying brands and talents through sustainability philosophy, supply chain, production methods, and sources for raw materials. Lane Crawford will continue supporting Chinese designers in 2022, Chow says.
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