Coffee bean clothing might sound like something from an Alexander McQueen collection, but apparel made from coffee beans doesn’t necessarily have to mean high fashion.
Fabric manufacturers, Singtex, based in Taiwan, were the first company to make clothes out of ground coffee. Instead of the waste coffee grounds being dumped in a landfill, Singtex, saw an opportunity to make environmentally friendly fabric from them.
The finished material is surprisingly soft, breathable and airy, making it ideal for outdoor activities, sports and yoga. However, the benefits don’t just end there – clothes made from coffee beans also absorb horrible smells, protect you against harmful UV rays, and they don’t need to be washed as often as regular clothing. This would obviously depend on your work out style!
As a result, Singtex fabrics have been snapped up by many global sportswear brands such as North Face, Nike and Adidas – in 2011, the company had as many as 70 brands buying its products and since 2009 when the fabric was launched, the company has won international recognition for its eco products; however, it doesn’t end with coffee – there are others.
Singtex and the manufacturing company, Petagonia, also make sportswear from discarded plastic bottles and even stinging nettles. Apparently, nettles were used to make fabric for thousands of years before cotton took over in the 15th century.
However, a few years ago when the cotton industry started to get a bad reputation due to some companies trying to genetically engineer cotton plants and exploit cotton farmers in India and reports of child labour, it seems clothing manufacturers started to look for alternatives.
Due to the massive success of coffee based fabrics, in the future, Singtex plans to create other functional environmentally friendly products out of coffee beans such as shoes and even soap.