Entering the Denim Market, Pangaia Introduces Nettle-Cotton Blend

Continuing its mission toward a more sustainable apparel industry, materials-science company Pangaia has entered the denim category with fresh fabrications. With its entrance into the segment, Pangaia Denim relies on the company’s philosophy of “high-tech naturalism” through which it seeks to develop materials that are created by greater ecologically focused practices.

Using wild Himalayan nettle and organic cotton sourced from India, Jonathan Cheung designed the first drop of Pangaia Denim. Known for its strength, nettle fiber can also yield material with a soft hand that remains durable and breathable. The materials were created through a left-hand weave via a partnership with Italy’s Candiani Denim Mill. Employing a slower approach to fashion, Pangaia and Candiani relied on the mill’s existing sustainable offerings, reducing water and usage. Products were woven on a shuttle loom. The end result was a selvage denim.

“The denim jean is the most democratic, inclusive, hard-wearing, long-lasting and culturally influential piece of clothing in all human history,” said Cheung. “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. 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.”

Down to the smallest details, such as its cellulosic sewing thread, the denim’s construction was planned with an eco-conscious approach. It’s recyclable through mechanical and chemical processes. The products will also include the brand’s digital passport powered by EON. When scanned, each passport’s QR code affords greater transparency regarding the origins and impacts of a product, allowing consumers to examine the life cycle of the Pangaia goods they buy.

Building on this foundation, Pangaia Denim also released its PANhemp collection using rain-fed hemp and organic cotton. Dyed from natural indigo, the PANhemp collection yields a completely plant-based denim that features a left-hand weave and is treated with PPRMINT, a peppermint-oil treatment. With this launch, Pangaia worked with unspun, the robotics and digital-apparel company that creates jeans on demand. Through the unspun application, PANhemp customers were able to shop the collection from anywhere beginning Nov. 11 using their iPhones.

“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,” explained 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 utilizing a greater variety of plants as fiber sources. We are working toward other new innovations in our denim portfolio to bring an entirely new material library into commercial reality.”

Launched on Oct. 19, Pangaia Denim’s Himalayan-nettle collection comprises unisex straight-leg denim pants and a 1990s-inspired jacket in addition to a woman’s high-rise straight-leg. Each style of denim is available in a rinse and mid-wash.

PANhemp was released Nov. 4 and is available in a rinse, mid- and flamingo-pink wash. The unisex pieces in the collection include a 1990s-style shearling denim jacket with a Sherpa lining based on recycled wool and Tencel sleeves lined with kapok. There is also a denim straight-leg jean and cropped jacket. A women’s wide-leg jean is also available in PANhemp construction.

Prices for Pangaia Denim range from $195 to $295 with sizing in women’s 25–34 and men’s 27–36 for unisex styles, 25–32 for women’s, and XS–XL for jackets. Pangaia Denim is available through