Now imagine a small cafe. Now imagine a large, chain cafe. That’s a lot of waste.
Globally, coffee production is estimated to be responsible for upwards of 23 million tons of waste per year. Part of dealing with waste is, to begin with entirely rethinking the term “waste.” There are a growing number of businesses and individuals finding unique ways to repurpose coffee grounds (in ink for example) so that it’s not waste, but instead, a potential new resource. One of those ways is in textiles.
Twelve years ago, Singtex CEO Jason Chen and his wife Amy Lai (Senior Vice President of Singtex) went to a cafe. They overheard someone ask for the cafe’s old coffee grounds so that they could take them home and use them as a natural odor absorber (this is a common use for coffee grounds, much like baking soda). “My wife suddenly hit on a wild idea and asked me whether such things could be made into clothing to decrease the smell from men?” says Chen. What started as a joke turned into a business idea, and Chen worked with scientists and researchers to develop a yarn partially made from coffee grounds, resulting in the launch of a line of coffee fabric called S.Café.
Coffee textiles S.Café®
Jason Chen and Amy Lai
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