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Brief Published: 16 Feb 2015

M&S Coffee-Ground Shoes

Footglove Earth, Marks & Spencer

British department store Marks & Spencer has launched its first sustainable footwear line. Footglove Earth uses coffee grounds and plastic bottles in the making of its shoes.

As part of the store’s Plan A environmental strategy to become more waste, water and energy efficient, the shoes are made up from a variety of post-consumer waste. Coffee grounds are used in the fabric lining, plastic bottles are used for internal reinforcements, rice-husk-blended natural rubber is used for the soles, and recycled foam padding is used for the insoles. The shoes are even stitched with recycled polyester thread, and held together using water-based adhesives with a low environmental impact.

Coffee waste is emerging as a key ingredient for product design across sectors. New York-based Amma Studio has experimented with coffee grounds, rock salt and sand combined with concrete to create highly textured composites for its collection of stools. Meanwhile, Taiwanese haircare brand O’Right produces a Recoffee range made from 100% recycled coffee grounds gathered from coffee shops in Taiwan. The products are packaged in an innovative biodegradable bottle – coffee seeds in the base grow into a tree when the bottle is ‘planted’ in the ground.

For further inspiration, see our Materials Focus 2016-17 rationale Resource, where we explore how sustainable composites are driving material innovations. Also check out our Beauty Industry Trend Rethinking Beauty: Sustainable Futures for more sustainable beauty.