What is coffee ground fiber?
The textile industry is continuously looking up for new innovations and technologies that would contribute towards building a sustainable environment while keeping in mind the three pillars of sustainability: social, environment and ecology. With an aim to develop new fibers, a Taiwanese textile company Singtex introduced a technical composite fiber S.Cafe in 2008. The company offers a technology that helps to utilise the coffee grounds that would otherwise land up in the trash and processing these discarded coffee residues to manufacture a yarn while utilising the natural ability of coffee to block odour.
Across the world, about 3.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily which leaves behind about 33 million pounds of coffee grounds, and this initiative of Singtex to minimise the coffee residue and consider it a potential new resource contributes to yarn production.
S.Cafe is a yarn made from coffee grounds and plastic bottles which offers excellent natural anti-door qualities, UV ray protection, quick drying time and is environmentally friendly. The S.Cafe yarn and fabric made out of it utilises about three cups of coffee and five PET bottles while the composition of raw material goes about 5% of processed coffee grounds and 95% recycled PET.
Singtex’s technology combines the post-patented processed coffee grounds and polymer to create master batches before spinning it into yarn. S.Cafe employs a technology that utilises low-temperature, high-pressure and energy-saving processes and thus making the process energy efficient and further combines coffee grounds onto the yarn and later into a fabric that offers up to 200% faster drying time compared to cotton as claimed by the company.
Thus, S.Cafe proves to be a greener alternative both in terms of raw material that is readily available since coffee consumption and coffee grounds generation is a continuous process along with the utilisation of recycled PET to achieve a fabric with suitable performance capabilities.
Lastly, Singtex works towards the production of eco-friendly fabrics that possess both performance and functional properties without steeping down on the sustainability factor and has introduced various fabrics under the brand name S.Cafe, Ice Cafe, eco²sy, P4Dry, sefia, mylithe, Airnest, AEx Technology and Coffee cotton. Singtex has also bagged several awards for their innovative efforts in the field of textiles such as the Geneva Invention Award, Nuremberg Invention award, Merit Gold Medal and the Korea Invention award, to list a few.