Zéta launches sneakers made from recycled coffee grounds

Zero waste leather manufacturer Zeta has partnered with Nespressoan operating unit of the Nestlé group, to create a collection of sneakers made from recycled coffee grounds.

“We can no longer use only sustainable materials or natural resources.”

Founded in September 2020, the zero-waste fashion startup from Portugal began as a shoe producer focused on sneakers made from recycled paper and organic grape waste. After receiving a LinkedIn message in January 2021 from Nespresso CEO Guillaume Le Cunff asking “And the coffee?”, Babin realized that there was no commercially available coffee leather on market and was inspired to innovate a new coffee material that could be made into sneakers.

Re: Earth

©Zeta

Re:Ground, a line of limited-edition café sneakers from Zèta, made from 80% recycled and reused materials, is inspired by the ideas of zero waste, eco-design and French elegance. The sneaker capsule series includes 12 shots of recycled Nespresso coffee grounds in each pair of shoes, as stated by the company.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint, Zèta is committed to working near its manufacturing plant with exclusively European suppliers. Therefore, used coffee grounds from Nespresso recycling facilities in Europe are used to make vegan coffee leather in Portugal. In these facilities, the used coffee grounds are extracted and separated from the aluminum capsules.

Although the sustainability efforts of Nestlé subsidiary Nespresso are often seen as controversial, the company says its “central aim is to move towards sustainable coffee production and engage consumers in the importance of sustainable consumption.

“We can no longer use only sustainable materials or natural resources. We have an abundance of waste that we can use. The idea was to give waste another life and create a new product that combines innovation, aesthetics and sustainability,” concludes Babin.

Leather made from coffee

coffee leather by Volkswagen Group
©Volkswagen Group

Nespresso, one of the largest coffee companies in the world, is not the only international company to see coffee leather as a potential substitute for leather in the future. In 2021, the German Volkswagen Group announced that it would “work on the next generation of eco-friendly materials for vehicle interiors.”

The automaker is committed to sourcing animal-free materials and is currently working to optimize its coffee leather, stating that “Volkswagen is currently testing whether the coffee leatherette with the silverskins as filler meets the strict quality criteria that Volkswagen has set for materials used in the construction of vehicles.

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