This Startup Is Reshaping What It Means To Be A Sustainable Fashion Brand, From Materials Through To

Great challenges call for unprecedented innovation and collaboration, an area the fashion industry has historically found challenging. Chief Innovation Officer of new fashion startup, PANGAIA, Amanda Parkes, explained to me in a conversation last week that traditional material supply to brands and retailers is not set by what the material needs are, but by what textile mills and manufacturers choose to develop—or even more randomly, what has trickled down from the military (or other industrial) material developments.

There are fundamental reasons why fashion companies have not historically owned the manufacturing processes central to their products, and these are rooted in the research and development focus of materials being divorced from the design and aesthetics of fashion in these largely siloed sectors. PANGAIA is a hybrid company, apparently the first of its kind, that will bring together material science through its research and development facility, and demonstrate its textile prowess via its own-brand fashion collections. The collections will be created in partnership with artists and designers whose ethos aligns with PANGAIA’s determination to design and develop lower impact materials and products that are better for people and the planet than the current mass-market alternatives.

That’s not their only raison d'être, though. Parkes shared insights gained from two years of exploration of global materials research that offers opportunities for new applications that will give rise to new sustainable materials—without the need to start from scratch. Here, Parkes leverages her background in technical textiles and