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S. Café: The fabric from coffee grounds breaking new ground

scafe2Singtex Industrial, a leading Taiwan-based textile company has launched SPIIN (S. Cafe, Partnership, Innovation, Inspiration, Nature) to integrate industrial resources by leveraging partners  the textile supply chain. It aims to become an essential platform for partners to explore creativity and business opportunity of utilizing coffee yarn called S. Café, into textile manufacturing.SCF Hand Book ENG 3

S. Café is a technical composite fibre used to make yarn which then
becomes knitted or woven fabric through a series of manufacturing processes. It utilizes the natural ability of coffee grounds to absorb odours for a comfortable wearing experience and provides UV protection and fast drying. It combines the post patented processed coffee grounds and polymer to create master batches. The technology not only reuses the grounds to be the raw material of yarn technology but also reuses the highly concentrated oil by product from the patented process which can be used in cosmetics and textile industries. S. Cafe fabrics provide a comfortable feel combined with functional qualities for all outdoor and lifestyle activities.

Jason Chen, President, S.Cafe explains, “The idea of using coffee ground came to us in 2005. Being from the yarn background and with a coating and lamination factory, I saw a future in technology from coffee beans. The process involved taking the coffee ground in nano particle size, collecting and drying them. Simultaneously PET bottles are recycled which gets blended into the recomposition stage to be developed as yarn.” Chen further explains, “Out of coffee that is grown, .02 per cent of coffee is used which means 99.98 per cent coffee ground is eliminated or thrown away. Using this coffee ground makes the process sustainable"

The coffee yarn is sustainable and commercially viable and can also absorb sweat.  “The product is 30 per cent more expensive in comparison to regular yarns. We sell the yarn to weavers and it goes to China, Korea, India and US. We have a co-operation with an Indian company which uses the yarn for branding and marketing purpose,” added Chen.

Talking about the growth aspect, Chen reveals, “We grow by 30 to 35 per cent a year and work on high tech textiles and environment friendly fabric.  The fabric is also exported to brands like Nike, Adidas and some Japanese brands. We have a garment factory in Vietnam which is used for ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) primarily used for design. Some of this is for garment brands.  It’s a vertical service. The future looks very optimistic. We are an IPO listed company and a 50 million dollar company.  As of now we have a small business in India.  Some brands that make garments in India use our fabric. We are open to cooperation with Indian firms.”

S.Café has won Best Invention at Geneva Inventions and Pittsburgh Invention Gold Medal Award of Merit. Additionally, S.Café obtained GRS (Global Recycle Standard ) certification by Control Union (Holland base notarization unit) and Recycled Material Certification by TÜV (Germany base notarization unit).