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PANGAIA x COSTA BRAZIL— Get to know the founder, Francisco Costa

We’ve teamed up with eco-beneficial, rainforest-sourced beauty line Costa Brazil, founded by Francisco Costa, to create a capsule collection in support of the Amazon Rainforest and its Indigenous communities.

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While climate change and human activity threaten the Amazon Rainforest, Covid-19 threatens the vulnerable indigenous communities that live in it and the Amazon fears the loss of its guardians and gatekeepers too. That’s why PANGAIA x Costa Brazil are joining forces to donate ​100%​ of collected proceeds to Amazon Forever, a campaign spearheaded by Conservation International and BrazilFoundation to bring vital aid to rural areas of the Amazon. Because ​protecting mother nature means protecting those who put mother nature first.

“The Yawanawas are among hundreds of communities in the rural Amazon with no outside [Covid-19] support or supplies. In order to get the aid to these rural areas of the Amazon, we needed to connect both organizations to get the aid to these communities efficiently.” - Francisco Costa 

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Why did we choose to collaborate?

PANGAIA and Costa Brazil have joined forces to highlight the importance of the world's most rich and biologically diverse ecosystem, the Amazon Rainforest. Our mutual philosophy revolves around the need to protect nature and the people who put mother nature first.

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Francisco Costa

Costa Brazil is a sustainable beauty line created by Francisco Costa built on the belief that beauty is inseparable from the health of the earth. The importance of protecting the environment is deeply ingrained in Costa, who was born and raised in Brazil. Throughout his expansive career in fashion, he continually proved that beautiful design can be created in a smart, sustainable way.

In 2016, he returned to his homeland to explore the natural wonders of the Amazon rainforest. There, he discovered local healing rituals and the untapped wealth of curative native ingredients, and saw first-hand the urgent need for conservation. The result is Costa Brazil, which combines the raw power of the natural world with Costa’s unparalleled eye for beauty in a concerted effort to nourish the body, as well as the earth.

We asked Francisco Costa a few questions to find out a bit more about his inspiration, passion for positive change and the collaboration.

Could you tell us a little bit more about your organizations? What prompted you to drive change?

Amazon Forever is a joint initiative with both Brazil Foundation and Conservation International; I am on the board of both organizations and have been working closely with CI as the chair of the council of the Americas to drive change and preservation in the Amazon. After speaking with Tashka the leader of the Yawanawa tribe, I understood that the only line of defense the Yawanawas had against Covid-19 was through their spiritual practices—no masks, no PPE. The Yawanawas are one among hundreds of communities in the rural Amazon with no outside support or supplies. In order to get the aid to these rural areas of the Amazon, we needed to connect both organizations to get the aid to these communities efficiently.

What is the meaning of the ‘Amazonia Forever’ artwork/print?

"Repetition becomes mechanical and takes one to a contemplative state. A spacious place of the mind where our being can experience authentic weightlessness. The Amazonia Forever artwork becomes that mantra." - Nick Theobald

What do you see as the biggest threat(s) to our forests?

Fire, agricultural interests, but mostly the threats to the indigenous communities. If they are taken away, the forests are much more vulnerable.

What can people do on a macro and micro scale to help improve the current situation in the Amazon?

On a micro scale, we can incentivize small businesses to operate with transparency and we can incentivize communities to do the groundwork (such as harvesting) using eco-best practices at the smallest of scales. On the macro sale, we need to create policy to protect the land and its people.

What is the meaning of art in the time of a global pandemic?

Art is a form of hope. It’s an expression, and outlet for truth. It’s the most unique way for someone to express themselves. Art in this time is essential.

Why is it important for brands/companies to become more responsible?

Because we must. There is a modernity about caring, sharing and doing better. We have been living in an age of deep over-consumerism since the 50’s, that’s 7 decades of indulgence. Now is the time for transparency, equality, evening the playing field and addressing real issues.

What has been the most rewarding moment of your journey so far?

After meeting with the Yawanawa tribe, I connected Tashka the tribe's leader with Conservation International which led to him receiving a grant to protect their livelihood and acres of their land. It was hugely fulfilling.

What/who are your biggest inspirations and why?

Bruce Nauman is an inspiration as he has always stayed on his own path. He has always been on the verge of modernity, but has never engaged in pop culture. Similarly is Rei Kawakubo. When someone can create something that transcends trend, time or era and can still be relevant, that is inspiring. When the work somehow becomes bigger than the man or woman him or herself.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Teleportation to bring the supplies needed to the rural areas of the Amazon. But to be honest I’m a little more concerned by my super hero look!