Coffee waste is finding second life in a multitude of products and now Rens has found a way to combine used coffee grounds with recycled polyester from plastic bottles to make sustainable sneakers.
The shoe is 100% waterproof, lightweight, breathable and odour-free due to the antibacterial qualities of coffee. Rens are simply designed slip-on sneakers which feature a hashtag logo, on the upper part of the shoe, in a tasteful calligraphy style.
Using materials made from spent coffee grounds and plastic bottles drastically extends the lifecycles of these single-use materials that would otherwise end up in landfills or oceans, according to Rens founders Jesse Tran and Son Chu. Each pair of Rens sneakers is made from 300g of used coffee grounds and six recycled plastic bottles.
The Rens founders said: “At RENS, we’re building a new footwear generation made from the world’s most advanced technologies and sustainable materials. Like all of us living in the era of fast-fashion, we too are frustrated with the insane amount of waste produced by the fashion industry. We believe that by combining sustainable materials with technology and style, we can create the world’s best sneaker, without wasting precious resources from Mother Nature.”
Launched last summer via a Kickstarter campaign, Rens reached its goal within 24 hours. Within 52 days, they raised over $550,000 with 5,033 pre-orders from customers in 69 countries.
The Rens founders, both originally from Vietnam, met in Finland whilst studying in Helsinki where the Rens-brand is now based. The shoes are made in China, where the factories are compliant with BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) and meet the prestigious Bluesign criteria, and shipped from Hong Kong. The long-term plan is to move production to Vietnam.
Jesse Tran and Son Chu are keen to point out that Rens is “not a coffee shoe company”, but as the brand evolves consumers can expect products that are “made from sustainable materials and look beautiful.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com