Coffee waste is being turned into all sorts of things these days, from biofuel to recycled cups. But a company in Finland is creating something new, sneakers made from coffee.
Rens used a Kickstarter fund to brew up their waterproof sneakers using old coffee grounds. "We actually took it and mix it with recycled plastic pellets made from used water bottles," says Jesse Tran, the company's co-founder and CEO.
It takes just over a cup of used coffee beans to make a pair of shoes. That translates to 21 cups of joe. "The upper part is made from majority coffee waste," Tran says.
Globally we produce more than 23 million tons of coffee waste every year, according to Belgian sustainability researcher Gunter Pauli. And when it breaks down, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas experts say is about 30 times more harmful than CO2.
"We actually realized that only five percent of the coffee waste in the world actually got recycled," Tran says.
Son Chu, co-founder and CTO of Rens, says, "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 Finnish footwear company says it plans to use coffee grounds to create more wearable waste including athletic clothes.