According to their materials, PANGAIA is a private materials science company that brings textile innovations directly to the consumer. The company aims to solve environmental problems in the fashion industry through the development of sustainable materials, treatments, and dyes in partnerships with researchers in Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States. Recent innovations include fiber made from seaweed, an antibacterial textile finishing treatment made with peppermint oil, plant-based textile dyes, and FLWRDWN™, the plant-based down alternative profiled here.
FLWRDWN™ is the product of 10 years of research and development. Using Pangaia’s proprietary technology, this biopolymer is created from flowers and infused with a cellulose-based aerogel for increased durability. FLWRDWN is a fully biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and animal-free alternative to duck and goose down.
Production process: Mechanical/Chemical
Pangaia’s patent covers the production method of flower, biopolymer, and aerogel to create FLWRDWN. The aerogel, made of 85% recycled paper, increases thermal insulation and water resistance. We will update this section as information becomes available.
Because no animals are used in the production of FLWRDWN, it is likely to receive high marks for animal welfare. Other sustainability measures may depend on the end use of this fiber. Pangaia’s puffer jacket (pictured) uses their FLWRDWN as filling (80% biopolymer, 20% vegetable fiber), but each coat contains only 400 to 550 grams (0.8 to 1.2 lbs) of plant matter. The shell and lining are 100% recycled nylon and polyester, respectively. Using recycled is better than using virgin petroleum-based materials, but it would be worthwhile to evaluate the sustainability of FLWRDWN used with non-petroleum materials, perhaps with a silk alternative as shell and lining.
Images from Pangaia.