It seems fitting that Pangaia - the loungewear label we've worn throughout lockdown like a second skin - is launching its very first denim collection just as restrictions begin to life in Sydney and Melbourne. A coincidence? Only a very welcome one.
One of the reasons Pangaia is the first label we reach for when it comes to loungewear is its unwavering dedication to the environment. Just as Pangaia unites science and bio-engineering to produce quality, environmentally conscious pieces like hoodies, track pants and activewear, the label brings this same approach to its 90s-inspired denim line. Yes, it's Pangaia's first foray into the realm of denim, but only so as to minimise and find alternatives to overproduced, resource-intensive materials such as cotton.
So what can we expect from Pangaia Denim? As with anything from Pangaia, it's not what it seems. The label has brought denim expert Jonathan Cheung onboard to design the range in collaboration with the Candiani Denim Mill in Italy. Steered by the brand's material ethos, "high-tech naturalism", Cheung looked to nature and science for inspiration, returning with selvedge denim made from Wild Himalayan Nettle and organic cotton sourced from India.
Currently this is the first time Himalayan nettle has been used to craft selvedge denim; but as nettle fibre is extremely strong and has a hollow core it makes for a durable garment, well-suited to the hardworking role of denim in our wardrobes. Another perk of this new, innovative material is that it was crafted as a left hand weave - a rarity in denim - resulting in a softer textile, that is breathable and both cool in summer and warm in winter.
Of the new line, Jonathan described the process of taking an iconic wardrobe staple like the blue denim jean and refashioning it into a piece that doesn't hurt the planet. “The denim jean is the most democratic, inclusive, hard wearing, long lasting, and culturally influential piece of clothing in all human history," he says.
"No other piece of clothing has been worn for so long, by so many people and I’d argue that a simple pair of jeans is the coolest piece of clothing you can own too. Our work has been like farm-to-table, starting at the plant level to make even better, unique denim. This is just the beginning, we’re literally growing our future jeans right now."
At the moment Pangaia's Denim line consists of three simple pieces. The first is a pair of straight-leg denim pants designed to be genderless, followed by a 90s vintage inspired denim jacket and rounded out with a pair of women's high rise, straight-leg pants. Each item is available in a classic rinse wash or a lighter mid wash denim. Expect Pangaia to expand its denim offering in the coming months, with the introduction of hemp and organic cotton denim pieces.
Since Pangaia launched its' Horizon collection, the brand has dealt out digital passports with each of its products - raising the bar of what we can expect from our favourite labels. The denim collection is no different and each piece will keep with tradition in order to emphasise transparency, traceability and circularity in the fashion industry.
You can shop the new denim range from Pangaia now on the brands website.