In Our Resource Library: Singtex Makes Fabric From Coffee Grounds

SINGTEX®, is a sustainable manufacturing company making outdoor functional fabrics in Taiwan. Ever since its founding in 1989, SINGTEX® has been engaged in continuous research and development in the area of outdoor, functional and environmentally-friendly fabrics. The company’s BIOTEC series not only reuses organic materials such as coffee grounds to make coffee oil membranes but castor beans to produce bio-nylon fabrics. These bio-based materials replace more than 25% petroleum consumption during production and offer a better wearing experience.

Around 2009, Singtex started reusing coffee grounds to create S.Café ®, a technical composite fiber which is made from every day coffee waste.

When S.Café® founder Jason Chen realized that coffee grounds had a unique deodorizing function it was literally over a cup of coffee. Jason realized that harnessing the ability to incorporate coffee grounds to make clothes and increasing the performance of the grounds to absorb odors was an actual business. Jason quickly gathered a group of innovators and environmental partners and began researching the possibilities of inputting coffee grounds into yarn. After four years of research, development, blood, sweat, and tears, Jason did it. In 2009 S.Café® brand was created.

Their technology not only changes the characteristics of the filament, and offers faster drying time, but S. Café® coffee grounds absorb odors and reflect UV rays. The fabric’s functions are permanent and will never wash or wear out.

Sportswear is often made from synthetic fabrics and because of their wicking abilities, you are less likely to be fully drenched in sweat. But that ability is also the downfall of the fabrics. Constructed with tiny notches that collect the sweat and move it away from the body, bacteria easily gets stuck in those notches (which is why after you go on a run in a synthetic t shirt, chances are it smells horrible).

To deal with odor, most synthetic fabrics intended for sportswear are treated with antimicrobial chemicals. Singtex’s S.Café® fabric changes all this by being a technical composite made from our every day coffee waste.

Are you thinking about how to incorporate sustainability into your designs? We work with designers to provide them with a general overview of sustainable manufacturing principles— with particular expertise in apparel. Based on your needs, we can advise on both specific sourcing requirements or basic understanding of production for soft or hard goods. Book a consult with us to learn more.