We’ve heard your questions asking about how we make our shoes. We know that saying “RENS are made of coffee” usually brings more questions than it answers.
So it’s about time to address your questions on sustainability and our materials. But first, we're going to have to talk about waste (yay?).
The global thirst for coffee is a material opportunity
Many of us wake up in the morning with a steaming cup of black goodness to get the day started and the moment after extracting that caffeinated go-juice the grounds go straight into the trash. It's not just you, the coffee industry is enormous with more than 2 billion cups of coffee drank globally every day. That makes for a ton of jittery, happy coffee lovers. It also means an industry that produces 23 million tons of organic waste per year.
All that waste has to go somewhere. Less than 10% of all coffee waste is composted or repurposed. When used coffee grounds end up in landfills, they emit methane, a greenhouse gas that is 30 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Used coffee grounds are abundant, a contributor to climate change and also a surprisingly great material for producing textiles. That's why RENS created a coffee shoe that can recycle 324 pounds (147 kilos) of spent coffee grounds for every hundred pairs of sneakers manufactured.
But it doesn’t end at coffee...
Upcycling plastic bottles
Plastic is a problem. It takes hundreds of years to decompose and it’s everywhere. In addition to the spent coffee grounds used to make every pair of RENS, our manufacturing process also uses recycled plastic.
In America alone, an enormous 35 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills every year. Fortunately, we can step up and do our part by using material from six plastic bottles in making a single pair of RENS.
Making RENS from recycled materials
The process of making RENS sneakers starts with infusing coffee ground into plastic pellets and spinning that mixture into a polymer yarn. That yarn is then knitted on a waterproof membrane, ensuring that your feet will stay dry in any conditions. And as a bonus, coffee has natural antibacterial qualities, preventing your shoes from smelling.
Each pair of RENS uses the waste from 21 cups of coffee and 6 plastic bottles. Additionally, our minimalist design allows our manufacturing process to use fewer resources and generate less waste. RENS has 80% less impact on the environment than leather shoes and 60% less than textile ones.
No one likes to compromise, and we don’t either. You shouldn’t have to choose between style and the environment. Your shoes should look great, feel great AND be sustainable. That’s why RENS is working hard to deliver you a pair of sustainable shoes that you’ll want to wear because they are comfortable, waterproof and most importantly... look rad.