Wearing a cup of coffee sounds more like a morning disaster than a fashion statement. But Taiwanese company Singtex / S. Cafe is doing just that. Using their patented process, the company recycles used coffee grounds into yarn, which is then made into durable and sustainable fabrics that resist odors and UV rays!
As a caffeine and coffee-fueled society, our addiction to joe yields a lot of waste. In 2008, approximately 7.6 million tons of coffee beans were sold worldwide. That’s a lot of waste that usually ends up in our landfills. S. Café’s process spins the waste grounds into an odorless, fast drying fabric that also possesses UV shielding qualities.
S. Café’s process removes the phenols, esters and oils from the grounds, leaving them odorless. Roasted coffee has natural deodorizing properties, so the fabric made from coffee yarn has great applications in athletic wear, which is designed to soak up sweat. They also found that the coffee fibers are fast-drying and serve as a UV shield – additional reasons why the fabric is the perfect match for athletic wear.
Initially, research was conducted using used grounds from local cafes and friends. Now that the company has taken off, they have employed a coffee factory to supply more and more of the used grounds. S. Café extends the life of coffee in a totally usable way. Recycling an otherwise useless waste product has inspired the company to conduct further research, with hopes of extending the use of used coffee grounds to other products.
Coffee grounds can be used for everything from garden mulch to batteries to biofuel — but nothing is more practical than recycling it into clothing. Your next morning cup of coffee could end up meeting you at the gym!