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Wild Himalayan nettle style

Each pair contains a digital passport developed with connected products innovator EON.

25th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  New York


New York materials science direct-to-consumer brand Pangaia is introducing wild Himalayan nettle fibres into denim for the first time, in a collaboration with Italian manufacturer Candiani.

Pangaia Denim, created by designer Jonathan Cheung, pairs nettle fibres with organic cotton sourced from India in a rare left hand weave to make the material softer. A shuttle loom operating at a slow speed is employed in production and the fabrics are dyed using Candiani’s exclusive water and dye saving process. Due to the special nature of the denim, the fabric undergoes a resting period that allows the yarns to settle in and relax before sewing.

Nettle fibre is extremely strong and has a hollow core and the resulting denim fabric is said to be soft to the touch, highly durable and breathable.

“This is slow fashion,” said Cheung. “Our work has been like farm-to-table, starting at the plant level to make even better, unique denim and this is just the beginning – we’re literally growing our future jeans right now.”

The first Pangaia Denim has been been consciously produced with all-cellulose components, including the sewing thread, allowing each pair to be easily recycled through both mechanical and chemical processes.

“The future of creating a more sustainable fashion industry involves using existing natural materials, like regenerative nettle, that are augmented by scientific and technological processes,” said Pangaia chief innovation officer Dr Amanda Parkes. “The goal is to promote biodiversity and regenerative agricultural systems, while creating resilience in the supply chain by utilising a greater variety of plants as fibre sources. We are working towards other new innovations in our denim portfolio to bring an entirely new material library into commercial reality.”

In keeping with the brand’s move towards circularity, each of the Pangaia Denim products will contain digital passports that were developed in conjunction with connected products innovator EON. Powered by a QR code and cloud-hosted digital twin, the digital passports bring to life each garment’s unique journey and offer customers access to product-level impact reporting in a more interactive way.

First launched with the brand’s Horizon collection, the digital passports are designed to help accelerate greater transparency, traceability and circularity in the industry.

Pangaia Denim is now available for purchase on the brand’s website. The first products consist of pan-sex straight leg denim pants ($225) a 90s vintage inspired jacket ($275), and a women’s high rise straight leg pant ($225), each available in both a rinse wash and mid wash. Following the initial release, Pangaia will introduce denims made from hemp and organic cotton denim in November.

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