April 04, 2020

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A Wearable Roast: Footwear Company Launches Shoes Made from Spent Coffee Grounds - Environment + Energy Leader

(XpreSole-CCILU footwear found a way to mix and melt spent coffee grounds into a special compound that is ideal for shoe soles and tops. Credit: XpreSole)

XpreSole, by CCILU Footwear, recycles spent coffee grounds (SCG) into sustainable footwear material. The first product is the “aromatic” (coffee smell) Cody sneaker with its major components (upper, insole, and outsole) all primarily made from SCG. One pair of Cody sneaker averagely consumes the SCG from five cups of coffee. CCILU’s XpreSole Cody will be first sold at several crowd funding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, then moved to CCILU branded stores worldwide, and its website. CCILU has further plans to share XpreSole with other brands.

CCILU has published the XpreSole Technology Plan that lays out four primary objectives:

  1. Minimize SCG landfill
  2. Minimize Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions
  3. Minimize petroleum consumption
  4. Minimize carbon footprint

CCILU’s plan also aims to reduce by 30% the consumption of petroleum-based traditional materials currently used in the footwear industry.

Applications for the recycling of spent coffee grounds include deodorant, mushroom cultivation, biofuel … and now, venturing into footwear.

How it’s done

It all starts with the process of collecting the SCG. CCILU’s demonstration factory and supply chain aim to be a model that can be duplicated by other manufacturers. In the meantime, they utilize centralized resources in Taiwan to produce the XpreSole material master batch. The process of drying, grinding, sifting, and pelleting, through a patented XpreSole Material Tech process creates a ready-to-export, concentrate masterbatch of either fabric or sole material that is then sent for final product cultivation to factories around the world. For CCILU’s own footwear production, the XpreSole masterbatch is compounded with other materials and undergoes extensive physical properties testing to ensure quality before being made into CCILU shoes.

CCILU’s research and development team intends to build an entire natural ecosystem beyond just the XpreSole footwear line. CCILU continues to build its IP roadmap and protections surrounding its various footwear technologies, including XpreSole, on which the brand is working with several coffee makers to bring this initiative to market. CCILU’s is exploring all possible applications for XpreSole, such as apparel, 3D printing, planting and feeding, and alternative energy. While launching the footwear Cody, CCILU also debuts a line of socks with its fabrics made primarily from spent coffee grounds.

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