Singtex Industrial Co., a Taiwanese fabric producer, has embraced the sustainable fabric craze, but with a caffeinated twist: recycled coffee grounds. The company’s S. Cafe material uses fibers from grounds to purportedly produce a fabric that is quick-drying, controls odors, and protects wearers from harmful UV rays.
Singtex makes the too-good-to-be-true material by turning coffee grounds into yarn, which is in turn used to make knitted, woven, and soft shell fabrics.
The production process is efficient, too–according to general manager Chen Kuo-chin, coffee grounds from one medium cup of coffee is enough to produce two shirts made out of the S. Cafe material. Apparently, Sintex’s process doesn’t use any hazardous chemicals. It’s also energy-efficient due to a lack of fuel-intensive high temperature carbonization. And perhaps most incredibly, Singtex claims that the shirts don’t need to be washed with detergent–just cold water.
No word on how the S. Cafe material actually feels–is it itchy, scratchy, soft?–but its success will ultimately depend on how cost-efficient it is compared to other sustainable fabrics. If S. Cafe turns out to be unreasonably expensive, coffee grounds still have other uses. Among them: fertilizer, compost, and biodiesel.