From Coffee Grounds to Fabric: Fashion That Gives Us a Buzz

Coffee beans photo

Photo credit: Getty Images

We've seen some pretty funky feedstock for fabric in our time, from chicken feathers to discarded cigarette butts. Now get set to look at your morning mud in a whole new light because a Taiwanese company has pioneered a method to weave waste coffee grounds into interlaced fibers. The result? A textile that dries quickly, protects against UV rays, and dampens odors, while meeting Swiss bluesign standards for sustainable fabrics. Jason Chen, general manager of Singtex Industries, had this brainwave while sipping coffee with his co-workers at—where else?—Starbucks, according to the Taipei Times.

"Three scientists and myself then spent the next four years in research and development to extract and transform waste coffee grounds into nano-sized structures to be put into S.Cafe yarn, which we then turned into many styles of knitted and woven fabrics, as well as soft-shell fabrics," Chen said at a media briefing this week.

A single cup of coffee has enough juice, so to speak, for two T-shirts, notes the company, which collects roughly 600 to 900 pounds of free coffee grounds from the java giant.

We'll drink to that.

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