Another innovative sneaker design is headed our way with the #RENS shoe coming from designers in Helsinki, Finland. #RENS chose the name to represent positive change, pulling the word from several languages where it means anything from clean and neat to feeling awesome. With that goal in mind, the #RENS sneaker is made with sustainable materials, like recycled coffee, and has qualities everyone can appreciate in a shoe.
Every pair of #RENS incorporates a mixture of coffee yarn (from used coffee grounds) and recycled polyester (made with post-consumer plastic). According to the company, each pair includes the equivalent of 21 cups of coffee and six plastic bottles.
The sustainability aspect comes to the surface, literally, with the knit upper, inside lining and removable insole all being made from a yarn created from coffee grounds. Spent coffee grounds are a readily available product that begs to be reused, and #RENS is happy to accommodate.
“It’s unbelievable how giant companies churn out millions of unsustainable products, using unsustainable materials and doing very little to mitigate their impact,” CEO Jesse Tran said.
Why coffee? The innate makeup of coffee allows for tiny pockets in the material that bring a host of benefits. Air-flow is always a good thing in shoes, and these sneakers are breathable because of these pockets. Coffee’s natural antibacterial properties also make #RENS odor-resistant. These same characteristics add quick-drying and moisture-wicking qualities to the shoe. The design is completely waterproof, so feet stay dry.
#RENS offers some other features too, like a lightweight feel, with each pair weighing in at only one pound. The outer material is UV-resistant, which means no unwanted yellowing. #RENS is a slip-on design for ease when putting them on or taking them off, and they can be worn with or without socks. For the vegans in the house, rest assured there are no animal products in #RENS.
Co-founder Son Chu explained, “Jesse and I are both young sneakerheads who are also concerned about the origin and impact of the shoes we wear. It felt like no one was making an eco-friendly option for us — for our generation. So, we decided to make one ourselves.”
A fully-funded Kickstarter campaign is currently trending and closes early on August 15.
Images via #RENS