Today’s Solutions: January 29, 2022

In recent years, the fashion industry has welcomed an increasing number of innovative brands whose goal is to weave sustainability into the clothes and accessories we wear. Not long ago, for example, we introduced you to Pangaia, an eco-friendly clothing brand creating fabrics that are responsibly made to the benefit of the environment and your wardrobe.

Now, as part of its goal to make the fashion industry more environmentally friendly, the company has developed a pair of limited-edition sunglasses using state-of-the-art technology from Twelve, a startup that creates petrochemicals — the building blocks of almost every product we use — out of captured CO2.

While polycarbonate lenses in sunglasses are typically made from fossil fuels, Pangaia’s latest pair uses Twelve’s “CO2Made” chemicals instead. “We’re always looking for places where we can take the waste and transform it into something useful,” Amanda Parkes, chief innovation officer at Pangaia, tells Fast Company. “We’re trying to get away from why there should even be a waste. Nature works in full circles, where everything is reused, and we should mimic that in our process around the product.”

The company normally works with plant-based materials, but making polycarbonate out of bio-based sources is a very difficult undertaking, explains Parkes. “There are still some things that haven’t quite been figured out in the biosynthesis category. And polycarbonate is an advanced plastic that has really amazing characteristics of durability.” Indeed, the material is about 10 times stronger than glass or standard plastic, and it won’t shatter if it breaks.

Though they raise the bar quite high in terms of sustainability, the limited-edition steel-frame sunglasses are also quite pricey, selling at $495 a pair. The sunglasses, however, won’t be the last product created by Pangaia with Twelve technology, with the company planning to expand its line of products that include materials made from captured greenhouse gases.

Image source: Pangaia

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