What do you do with your old coffee grounds?
There are so many people drinking coffee every single day (supposedly 95 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK every single day).
This can result in a lot of waste products, and some of the uses for coffee grounds are pretty mainstream now. As well as composting, many people use these grounds for things like face masks and other beauty products.
Using grounds of the most popular beverage in the world to make waterproof sneakers? That might be a new one!
The shoes are called Rens, and they have one of the most incredible stories in the history of Kickstarter.
The brand originally set out to raise $19,000 to start to produce their shoes at a bigger scale. Those who pledged $99 could ensure they got a pair of sneakers. Over $500,000 later, and the company is absolutely flying, with a huge number of pre-orders and a successful technology for making amazing shoes from coffee.
The Story of a Million Dollar Idea
The founders of Rens were brainstorming some potential ways to make sneakers that are both quality and sustainable. It is true that the sneaker industry causes a lot of pollution and waste, and people may not have been expecting to find the solution to be coffee.
They found that they could use the grounds to spin a thread, which can be used in the production of the sneakers.
Coffee isn’t the only ingredient, as the founders combined it with recycled plastic bottles to create a shoe with a huge level of comfort as well as plenty of other benefits. The shoes have been compared to Evolution hoodies, which is a brand making clothing out of similar materials.
Why coffee? Well, not only is there a lot of coffee available as so many grounds are produced as a waste product, there are some other benefits too. These are happy coincidences as far as the manufacturers are concerned.
Coffee actually serves to create little micro pockets that are odor resistant. Yes, really. It’s very possible that these can stop your feet from building up a smell. On top of that, the antimicrobial properties of coffee ground mean that they may even help to disinfect.
Coffee acts as a UV blocker, protecting your feet from sunlight. This is especially useful information when you consider the fact that the brand wants to introduce other forms of clothing in the future, which could save you from sunburn!
Rens are also great for use in all sorts of different weather conditions. They dry 200% quicker than other sneakers, and also have a waterproof membrane. While this lets air flow through it protects water from penetrating, so you have a breathable design without the buildup of liquids.
The Finnish brand experienced a huge level of success in their Kickstarter campaign, and they have big plans moving forward.
“We actually realized that only five percent of the coffee waste in the world actually gets recycled,” a representative of the company recently said in an interview.
Son Chu, co-founder of Rens explained, “We want to be a brand where we make sustainable products, but they are cool, they have really cool functions, people can actually use them.”
The company’s commitment to sustainability can be seen on their website, where they explain some of the absurd statistics around coffee, and how much of it ends in landfill. Rens has a commitment to making a change in the world of sneakers, and it just so happens that their ideal way to do this is to use coffee.
Where Can You Get Rens
If you got in at the ground floor supporting their Kickstarter then kudos to you and your foresight. Many of us didn’t manage to do so, but you can still order the shoes on their website. They even ship globally.
You will have saved a little money if you ordered via the Kickstarter campaign, but with the features on offer, a lot of people are happy to pay the extra.
The company has its original sneaker in stock on the site and ready to order, but there are also a lot of new designs that you can pre-order ready for their release. Rens have grown at a rapid rate.
Conclusion – A Solution to Waste?
There’s no doubt about it, the coffee industry has to take more responsibility for the waste it produces. On top of that, the fact that millions of plastic bottles are still being created and going into landfill is unthinkable when you consider some of the challenges that the world is likely to face in the coming years.
Companies like Ren are doing a noble job when it comes to sustainability. These waterproof sneakers are no fad product, they could be a long-term solution to a very serious problem.
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