Women's Recycled Cashmere Hoodie by Pangaia

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Annie Toomey
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This rose pink hoodie is a consumer favorite of Pangaia. Pangaia is a company committed to environmental sustainability. Whether it is through recycled materials or fair labor practices, this company comes with great morals. Nonetheless, the company’s products are very expensive which makes it slightly unpractical.

What it's made of:


The company is committed to recycling materials. Once an item is returned, it is used to make other products. This hoodie is made of blend of recycled materials and recycled cashmere. Although the cashmere is recycled, its origin comes from cashmere goats. These goats, unfortunately, live in a way that is difficult for the environment. They tend to rip up the ground, which has been one of the reasons that widespread desertification in Mongolia and China continues. Furthermore, in more recent years, the demand for cashmere has increased exponentially. This demand comes with the pressure to lower the cost because the herders must attempt to maintain their income by submitting to these lower prices. Moreover, the increased demand and lower pricing has lead to herders who are forced to take care of more goats in the same area just to try and receive the same amount of income they had before the price drop. This overpopulation has led to the extreme degradation of the land. However, the company does create this hoodie using 70% recycled cashmere, 25% virgin cashmere, and 5% virgin wool. The company’s virgin wool is Responsible Wool Standard certified, however the company only states that the virgin cashmere is sourced from nomadic herders in Mongolia. This lack of certification brings cause for concern about why they are not able to obtain  a certification if the company claims to obtain the cashmere from an environmentally and socially sustainable source. Nonetheless, the virgin wool certification is from Textile Exchanges, which is a legitimate organization and requires that the farmers practice holistic and animal welfare oriented practices for herding the sheep and goats. This requires that they follow the Five Freedoms, which is freedom from hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain injury and disease, to express normal behavior, and from fear and distress. Moreover, the recycled cashmere is Global Recycled Standard certified. This certification, although not certified by the United States government, is based on the US Federal Trade Commission Green Guides and created also by the Textile Exchanges. The company has made a statement that their goal is to help destroy the clothing industry’s reliance on unsuitable virgin animals fibers. In doing so, the company does in fact address the fact that using recycled cashmere does still allow for the dependance on the virgin cashmere, but they believe it is better than using solely virgin cashmere. Overall, they are continually trying to make the most sustainable product, but there is still work that needs to be done.

How it's made:


The company created a Supplier Code of Conduct. This code of conduct ensures that everyone they partner with and use for materials is environmentally and socially sustainable. The requirements consist of but are not limited to, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a zero tolerance must-be-transparent requirement, Principle 7, 8, and 9 of the UN Global Compact, meet the International Labour Standards, and partake in climate change activism. These ensure that the labor force is not discriminated against, environmentally sustainable technologies are being sought after, working towards becoming carbon neutral, and ensured the safety and health of workers and animals alike. In particular to the sweatshirt, in order to create the material for the cashmere, the recycled materials must be mechanically separated. Unfortunately the company gives little information about how this process actually occurs, however, the separated fibers then have to be spun back together in order to combine with the wool and virgin cashmere. It can be implied that mechanical weaving is the source for creating such products. Although it is understood that this use of machinery implies a need for energy demand, given the fact that the company is utilizing such extreme carbon reduction methods, it is not necessarily a spot for concern. Overall, the company does a great job address the sustainability of the products, however, it would be nice for them to give more information about how the product is actually created within its partners.

Who makes it:


The company is incredible with environmental sustainability. Not only do they do extensive research on the products they are using in their products in order to ensure that they are minimizing their carbon footprint. They continually post Impact Reports about the state of their company. They continually donate to climate change activists. They prioritize ‘circularity’ in product reusing and idea revisioning. Their climate action journey includes measuring carbon footprint, reducing their carbon footprint, and to be Earth positive. Their packaging is a bio-based plastic alternative that can compost in 24 weeks. They ensure they are doing what they can to protect the ocean by rebuilding mangroves in Indonesia. They want to give back to the Earth more than they take from it. There are many reports that address many aspects of sustainability. Although the company admits to not being perfect, they are continually setting concrete goals on how they can become better.