Sneaker enthusiasts Son Chu and Jesse Tran are the founders of RENS, a startup based in Helsinki that is committed to designing sustainable shoes.
They launched their “coffee sneakers” campaign on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter on the 25th of June this year. Within days more than 2600 people donated more than 400,000 AUD to help kickstart their campaign.
These particular sneakers are made from a material that combines discarded coffee grounds and plastic bottles. The yarn created by the blend of these two waste materials is fast-drying and UV-resistant, thanks to the natural ability of coffee ground to absorb and reflect UV radiation. These characteristics ensure that the colours of the sneakers will remain unaltered for a longer period of time. In addition, coffee is a natural antimicrobial agent, which ensures that the sneakers remain odor-free. I almost forgot to mention, they are also waterproof and 100% vegan.
To produce a pair of shoes approximately 300 gr of wasted coffee grounds and six discarded plastic bottles are used. The result is a lightweight sneaker which weighs approximately 455 gr.
According to RENS, their mission is it to create a sneaker that is stylish, versatile and eco-friendly which fits everyone. Further, the founders aim to both tackle plastic pollution and reduce the environmental impacts associated with coffee ground disposal generated by the 2 billion cups of coffee we drink everyday worldwide.
All images courtesy of RENS