Is Sustainable Loungewear The Future Of Fashion? Refinery29


Six months ago, the only thing that would get me to even look at a matching sweatsuit was Zoë Kravitz — wearing one (from Entireworld) underneath a moss-green Loewe duster. Now, I, and just about everyone else on the planet, hardly go a few days without slipping one on. Like shoes with heelsnon-stretch denim, and dresses that don’t fall under Hill House Home’s Nap dress category, anything that’s not elastic, monochrome, and made of jersey simply doesn’t suit my dressing needs anymore. That’s what happens when a pandemic ushers most of the population indoors for half a year’s time: we bunker down and get comfortable.

But comfort level isn’t the only variable we look at when shopping for loungewear these days. Instead, the farther we get into the pandemic, and the more we see how our everyday behaviors, from plane, train, and car travel to our fashion consumption habits, contribute to the environment’s demise — in March, the BBC reported that pollution in New York alone was down 50% year-over-year due to a reduced number of cars on the road — the more focused we are on shopping ethically and sustainably. Gen Z, in particular, wants a future on this planet, and many are willing to give up fast fashion to get it. Enter: ethical and sustainable loungewear, which is currently experiencing a rise. “Gen Z are looking for purpose above anything else — they are a generation deeply concerned and moved by socio-environmental issues,” says Dr. Amanda Parkes Ph.D, Chief Innovations Officer at PANGAIA, a sustainable fashion collective that offers seasonless loungewear crafted out of bio-engineered materials. “They care, they believe in the power of the collective, and they are willing to adapt their lifestyles to help both people and the planet.” 

Next week, the brand is announcing a collaboration with JUST Water, the environmentally-friendly consumer products brand co-founded by Jaden Smith (aka the unofficial ruler of Gen Z), made up of a nine-piece line of loungewear. The collection, which includes sweatpants, sweat shorts, hoodies, crewnecks, and T-shirts in JUST Water’s signature blue colorway, was created using 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, natural dyes, and a recycled water system. What’s more, funds raised from the collection will be donated to #TOGETHERFUND x WJSFF, a nonprofit that supports racial justice work and COVID-19 relief. 


While a PANGAIA x JUST collaboration may appear unexpected, given that the two are from different industries entirely, they share a common purpose of protecting those natural resources that we still have. PANGAIA’s business model, too, is different from what we’ve come to expect from brands — described as a collective, it’s made up of “scientists, designers, thinkers, and creators from all backgrounds and walks of life,” according to Parkes. To ensure that their products are being made using the most up-to-date technology, this collective connects MIT, Harvard, and Stanford alumni with designers from leading global design schools. As such, PANGAIA is at the forefront of both fashion and sustainable technology right now. “PANGAIA is very much aligned with Gen Z values — which is probably why we have such a strong presence of Gen Z in our community,” Parkes says. “We share their vision of a better world and their drive towards helping shape it.” A-list fans like Hailey Bieber and Jaden Smith no doubt help, too.