Pangaia's FLWRDWN offers a cruelty-free and sustainable option for keeping warm.
People who prefer not to wear things made from animals get short shrift when it comes to winter wear. There are plenty of cruelty-free fill materials to choose from, but they are almost all made from synthetics, predominantly petroleum-derived plastics. Some may be comprised of recycled water bottles or other assorted recycled trash – but still, for someone who doesn't want to be wearing animal products or primarily synthetic plastic materials, the pickings are frustratingly slim.
But now, materials innovator Pangaia has come up with the most poetic solution: Fill made from flowers. Because who wouldn't want to wear a parka packed with petals?!
The company spent the better part of a decade working on the material, which resulted in FLWRDWN (pronounced "flower-down"), a trademarked, cruelty-free alternative to goose and duck down. It is made with natural wild flowers and a biopolymer, infused with aerogel for performance and durability. The result is, says the company, warm, certified hypoallergenic, breathable, and biodegradable.
Now of course when sourcing natural materials, well, there are questions to be asked. The questions I had were more or less answered in the company's explanation about the flow'ry fluff:
"The wild flowers we source are from areas which contribute to habitat restoration, whilst helping to conserve a species of local butterflies. This kind of regenerative agriculture results in a reduction of greenhouse gas production (12 tons of CO2 per hectare of plant material). The method also helps to preserve groundwater, as it doesn’t require irrigation."
Did someone say helps to conserve butterflies? (Like at this point I'm expecting to hear about unicorns ... and I mean that in the best way.)
While I was hoping I could call the jackets made with FLWRDWN "plastic-free," the outer shell and lining prevent that description, as they are made with recycled nylon and recycled polyester, respectively. But they've tackled the big issue, which is the fill. And Pangaia is dedicated to reducing waste, noting, "We are committed to a zero waste circular system and have joined forces with US-based The Renewal Workshop to make sure that each PANGAIA piece lives on by either being repaired and upcycled or recycled on your behalf. This complimentary service will be available in 2019."
So there you go. For anyone wanting to stay warm without the help of animal products or contributing more plastic to the waste stream, perhaps a jacket filled with posies is just what you need.
See more at Pangaia.