Using pre and post-consumer waste gives fibers a second life and reduces our reliance on virgin resources.
Wool is a renewable, durable and breathable fabric—and as such accounted for 1% of global fiber production in 2021, according to The Textile Exchange Preferred Materials Marker report 2021. But there can be damaging environmental impacts of wool production, such as deforestation. Land has been cleared and trees have been cut down to make room for grazing sheep, leading to decreased biodiversity. Put simply, the more space we give to sheep means the less there is for other animals.
Where possible, we use 100% recycled wool, which does not require virgin sheep hair and therefore reduces some of the environmental and ethical impacts associated with virgin wool production. These include land use challenges such as deforestation and animal welfare concerns—such as sheep being skinned alive due to a lack of ethical industry regulation—as well as saving on water usage and energy consumption. More on that later.
Specifically, our recycled wool jersey styles are made of MWool® by Manteco. MWool® is obtained from pre-consumer and post-consumer materials, which are carefully selected and tested, sorted per color and composition, and then turned back to fibers through a low-impact, mechanical recycling process.
Since pre and post-consumer garments come already dyed from their former life, our recycled wool jersey items have no additional dyes and chemicals. The new colors we create are made through the Recype® process, which devises new wool colors just by mixing different fibers.
When compared to generic virgin wool fibers, MWool® impacts 99.2% less on climate change, 99.9% less on water use and 93.3% less on total energy consumption, according to Manteco’s LCA [life cycle assessment]. And during production we also recover offcuts from the garment manufacturers and regenerate them into ‘new’ fabrics to use for the next year.
Did you know that most fleece is made using synthetic materials, like polyester? At PANGAIA, we have a commitment to move away from fossil fuel-derived materials and aim to use renewable or recycled materials where we can, instead of materials derived from finite resources.
Our fleece is a solution that is 100% Biobased (75% Recycled wool and 25% Tencel Lyocell), replacing the need for fossil fuel resources with renewable alternatives. Recycled wool reduces textile waste, and the cellulose tencel blend is a natural fiber that is part of our commitment to move away from fossil fuel-derived materials.
Our first fleece launch featured a recycled nylon lining, which meant the fleece could still shed microfibers (tiny plastic particles). Nylon—and recycled nylon—is a plastic that contributes to global plastic pollution, and can harm both marine organisms and the humans who eat them.
We are excited that our latest fleece styles feature an organic cotton alternative. Our fleece styles are also treated with natural peppermint oil to keep them fresh and reduce the need for washing.