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Apparel from coffee grounds? Why not…

Julia Bernert

Published on 05.11.2019

The Taiwanese company Singtex was founded in 1989 and has been one of the leading suppliers of high-quality and sustainable fabrics for the sports, functional, outdoor and workwear industries. The company aspires to being a leader not only in terms of functionality and technical progress – Singtex is also among the sustainability pioneers in the industry. They pay attention to the sustainability of the raw materials used and also invest millions in the latest dyeing and finishing machines in production with a view to saving water, chemicals, dyestuffs and energy.

The owner of Singtex company, Jason Chen, with his wife

One of the highlights in the collection of the Singtex company are the products in the “S.Café®” series, a registered trademark of this company. Company founder Jason Chen came up with the idea for this technology when he found out about the odour-absorbing effect of roasted coffee. He spontaneously started looking for partners from product development and research as well as environmental protection. What followed were years of development in order to create a highly functional yarn from coffee grounds in conjunction with a polymer. Recycled polyester, in part also Lyocell fibres or other substances, are combined with coffee grounds to produce a yarn to be later turned into functional fabrics. The raw materials used are tuned to each other depending on the demands made on costs, sustainability or function. Even the oils from the coffee grounds are used by Singtex for producing printing pastes or functional laminates, for example. S.Café® is even used in heat-retaining insulation fibres.

S.Café® fabrics boast outstanding properties: the coffee grounds used absorb body odours, which is a great benefit especially for sportswear. Compared to cotton, S.Café® boasts 3 times better values measured in accordance with the ASTM D5742 standard. Furthermore, the material ensures that moisture is transported away from the skin and through the outer fabric layer 50% faster than with many other fabrics. On top of this, the many microscopically small pores of the coffee grounds act like a lasting, natural and chemical-free protection against detrimental UV radiation. Official tests have shown that the sustainable S.Café® technology here offers a 5 times higher protection than cotton.

Due to the patented production methods the effect of S.Café® products does not fade through washing. This is a key advantage over other chemical coatings and definitely another reason why many international producers of functional and outdoor wear such as Schöffel, Vaude or Helly Hansen work with Singtex and S.Café® products.
The various Singtex and S.Café® products are certified in accordance with Bluesign, Ökotex Standard 100, Cradle to Cradle, SGS and USDA, to name but a few standards.

Text: Reiner Knochel, 28.06.2019
Photos: Singtex/ S.Café®