The sustainable trainers brand that uses coffee waste and recycled plastic to make its sustainable sneakers – iNews

This week’s 30-second interview is with Jesse Tran, the co-founder of the Finnish start-up, which makes trainers from coffee waste and recycled plastic
It all started with a cup of coffee. My co-founder Son Chu and I met up in a coffee shop and decided to create a pair of sustainable sneakers. After months of trials and failures with different materials, we came across an innovative coffee yarn with lots of cool features. It turns out where we met up was prophetic.
We launched Rens on Kickstarter and became the all-time most successful campaign in Finland and the most successful fashion crowdfunding campaign in the Nordics, raising over €500,000 from over 5,000 customers and more than 100 countries.
Our production was delayed and logistics were heavily disrupted by shipping delays, while costs increased due to lack of transport. But thanks to the hard work of the entire team we managed to weather the storm and grow the brand´s global presence through our own webstore and Zalando.
We spent more time with ourselves and online, browsing stores online. We now have more appreciation for clothes that are comfortable, well made, and feel good. We ditched dress suits in favour of more comfortable loungewear or “athleisure” clothes.
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We also pay more attention to how our clothes and shoes are made, looking into materials, functions, and most importantly whether it was sustainably produced. People look for pre-owned items from second-hand stores and sustainability remains an immensely relevant topic.
We aim to elevate our proprietary sustainable manufacturing network to turn Rens into a world-leading sustainable brand. Our goal is to make use of more waste-based materials (bamboo, coffee, pineapple skin, etc) and ultimately extend the life cycle of this supposed “trash”.
My wildest dream would be to see a day when the world will run out of trash because society and the fashion industry have both understood the concept of sustainability and recycling.
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