There’s no denying that eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items are changing the outlook of many a savvy consumer. From re-usable shopping totes and recyclable drinkware to organically made cosmetic and decorative products, the green initiative extends to almost every facet of modern, everyday living.

And any proactive go-greener worth his or her weight in corrugated cardboard will be interested to know that one of the latest developments in green technology comes to us by way of used coffee grounds.

coffee grounds, coffee beansYep, used coffee grounds.

It’s called “S.Café,” and it’s not so much a technology as it is a simple fiber. Actually, it’s a composite fiber that can be made into yarn and then turned into a woven fabric. Long story short, it’s a viable, earth-friendly alternative to traditional clothing fabrics. The material has only been on the scene since earlier this year, but a number of big-name apparel brands (like North Face, Puma, and Timberland) are already using it.

And yes, it’s partially manufactured from used coffee grounds, which the manufacturer appropriates from coffee shops before they end up in landfills. Apparently, coffee grounds “require less energy in the production process.”

Though coffee grounds are the most fundamental component of the fabric, don’t get overexcited about the notion of a coffee-scented spring jacket that you can take along for your night on the town. Items of clothing made from this material don’t actually smell like coffee. S.Café, instead, is great at masking odor, as coffee grounds have excellent odor-masking properties.

coffee signBut the benefits of the material don’t just end there. According to Jason Chen, the founder of Singtex Industrial Co. (the Taiwanese developer of S.Café), “coffee grounds help to control odors and protect against UV rays, as well as enabling the fabric to dry faster.”

Combine those attributes with the aforementioned Earth-friendliness and it’s no wonder such popular clothing makers are vying to implement the fabric into their lines.

The material itself certainly represents a step in the right direction for alternative manufacturing. The larger question is: will S.Café ultimately help change the way we shop for apparel?

Time will tell, but it can’t hurt to have a company out there trying.

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