Coffee and sustainable sportswear
Coffee and exercise might not be the most natural bedfellows – after all, there’s little more relaxing than sitting back with a cup and watching the rest of the world rush around. But coffee is increasingly of value in one area of sports, that of ethical sportswear.
That term might seem a bit odd, but it’s part of an increasing trend, which should be part of our conversation around all products, on the sourcing, sustainability, and after-life of the things we use. And coffee grounds can, quite remarkably, be used to make sustainable, environmentally friendly clothing from a discarded part of the coffee production process.
Sundried, a sports clothing retailer, has created a range of sportswear made from recycled coffee grounds, which reduces the carbon footprint of production to almost one fifth of standard polyester clothing. Sundried CEO and founder Daniel Puddick explains, “We chose to use coffee as our recycled product as it is a readily available raw product with high bio-degradable properties. The fabric is made from the waste product that is created when making coffee. The used coffee grounds usually just end up in a landfill, so this recycling process is truly ethical and responsible.”
Coffee grounds actually make good sportswear, too. Compounds rich in polyphenol are released when the coffee grounds are transformed into yarn, which allow the material to withstand heat and sweat better than many alternatives; it dries well too and has natural anti-bacterial properties. All of which adds up to ethical wares that work – the holy grail of product development.
Sustainability is increasingly part of the speciality coffee conversation, and rightly so; it’s good to see the cast-off elements of the consumption process being harnessed to do some good. The coffee industry and consumers need to talk about and be more aware of the issues around the sustainability of coffee – but it’s encouraging to see manufacturers like Sundried getting stuck in to sustainability and making coffee part of the conversation.
Find out more at Sundried
Words: Alex Stewart
Image courtesy of Sundried; model: Sophie Grace Holmes