Son Chua and Jesse Tran are two self-confessed sneakerheads on a mission to bring sustainability to their favourite footwear.
Surprisingly, this Finland-based duo’s answer is coffee.
Rens, the first shoe in the world to be made from coffee, was 100 percent funded on Kickstarter in under 24 hours and 400 percent funded in under a week.
Coming from Vietnam, both Rens founders have first-hand experience of the footwear industry’s environmental impact:
“It’s unbelievable how giant companies churn out millions of unsustainable products, using unsustainable materials and doing very little to mitigate their impact,” says CEO Jesse Tran.
Coffee grounds can be used to create “an incredibly flexible yarn” with properties ideal for footwear.
The “super stretchy” slip-on sneakers also 100 percent waterproof thanks to their trademarked AquaScreen Tech, incredibly lightweight at 227g per shoe, nonslip and vegan.
According to Rens, 2 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day and each pair of Rens uses the waste from 21 cups of coffee (300 grams each).
Rens says, “the coffee industry produces 23 million tons of organic waste per year, most of which ends up in landfills. These used coffee grounds are abundant and a contributor to climate change. Spent coffee waste produces methane, a compound that is a 30 times more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. That’s why Rens created a shoe that can recycle 66 pounds (30 kilos) of spent coffee grounds for every hundred pairs of sneakers manufactured.”
The company is also contributing to tackling the world’s plastic problem that sees 35 billion plastic bottles end up in US landfills every year by utilizing 6 recycled plastic bottles in every pair of Rens.
Through their preliminary research, the company has found that Rens have 80% smaller impact on the environment than leather shoes and 60% less than textile ones.Tags: coffee, fashion, sustainability, sustainable, sustainable fashion
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