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Pangaia launches apparel using biology-based dyes

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

1 Dec 2021

Fashion |In Pictures

Image: courtesy of Pangaia; Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix

Pangaia is introducing a new apparel collection featuring limited-edition tracksuits coloured with biology-based dye technology from Colorifix using pigments derived from bacteria.

The Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix capsule marks the first commercially-available application of the bioengineered dye technology and the second release from the Pangaia Lab innovative platform, which aims to discover the latest innovations in materials science.

The capsule utilises Colorifix’s lab-grown dyes, which turns natural pigments into colourful industrial dyes at scale with zero petrochemicals and none of the hazardous substances necessary in conventional dyeing.

The revolutionary dyeing process identifies naturally occurring pigments and uses DNA sequence data to identify the genetic code of that pigment. Then through synthetic biology, Colorifix builds and inserts the DNA code into a microbe that can be used to not only produce the pigment but also transfer and fix the colour onto fabric.

Image: courtesy of Pangaia; Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix

The hoodie and trackpants in the collection have been dyed with two naturally occurring blue and pink pigments. The ‘Midway Geyser Pink’, named after the famous Midway Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, uses pigments produced by ancient bacteria in and around colourful geysers, while the ‘Blue Cocoon’ colour is made with pigments found in silk cocoons. These pigments inspired the limited-edition graphic tracksuit design, explains Pangaia.

Pangaia collaborates with Colorifix on capsule collection created using bacteria-based dye technology

Pangaia chief innovation officer, Dr Amanda Parkes, said in a statement: “Pangaia is committed to using the most advanced technologies which work to augment natural processes and Colorifix’s cutting edge approach manifests the true potential of biotechnology to bring positive change to the fashion industry.

“Harnessing the power of microorganisms to create natural dye is only the beginning of how bio-fabrication can fundamentally transform manufacturing.”

Image: courtesy of Pangaia; Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix

Colorifix technology, when compared to the conventional dyeing step for cotton, can reduce water consumption by at least 49 percent, save electrical energy consumption by 35 percent, and cut CO2 emissions by 31 percent. Meaning that the new dyeing process will help the textile industry reduce its environmental impact by following nature’s own circular model to make and apply colour without harsh chemistry.

On average, the dyeing process can take up to five washes and require high temperatures for more than five consecutive hours to create the colour, adds Pangaia, but by using Colorifix’s engineered microbes instead, it can replicate nature’s colour palette with significantly cleaner inputs and outputs. With Colorifix it only needs one wash and three hours to create the colour.

Image: courtesy of Pangaia; Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix

Colorifix chief executive and co-founder, Dr Orr Yarkoni, added: “We are really excited for the release of this capsule. It shows that brands like Pangaia understand the power of biology in shaping the future of industry and we are thrilled to be working with a leader in this space.”

The debut Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix collection features the 356 Signature Hoodie for 170 US dollars and the 356 Signature Trackpant for 140 US dollars in pink and blue.

Image: courtesy of Pangaia; Pangaia Lab Powered By Colorifix