‘Climate neutral’ trainers made from coffee and plastic

The idea of trainers made from coffee and recycled plastic might seem like a novel idea – but it could be the shoe of the future.

A Finnish footwear company, Rens, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for its latest sustainable trainer, dubbed the ‘Nomad’. It’ll be made from waste coffee and recycled bottles, with recycled polyester to make the shoe waterproof.

In fact, the company says the shoe is “climate neutral” in its production, packaging, and transport. And fans have gone wild for it – the kickstarter already has nearly £45,000 pledged towards the shoe, of the £13,678 goal, within two days of launching.

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Rens was founded in 2018 by Vietnamese sneaker fans, Jesse Tran and Son Chu. The pair wanted to seek innovative ways to combat the sad fact that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world.

Since Rens launched their original shoe in 2019, they’ve been able to recycle over 250,000 plastic bottles and 750,000 cups of used coffee, bringing them closer to their goal of becoming the world’s leading sustainable athleisure brand. 

Speaking to Smiley News, Jesse Tran, co-founder and CEO of Rens, says the second shoe – the ‘Nomad’ – was initiated by their community. “It was the result of feedback and reviews from customers,” he says. “Customers asked us to be more sustainable – and we can always get better!”

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Jesse says Rens partnered with climate organisations to offset 100% of the brand’s climate impact of the whole production process. “We’ve made huge improvements with this second generation shoe,” he says.

Rens managed to meet their target goal of £13k in just one hour and 32 minutes on Kickstarter. It works like a pre-order, so they don’t over produce shoes. 

“We’re always open to partner with other fashion brand to share ideas and practices,” he says, speaking about the polluting impact the fashion industry can have on the environment. The long-term goal, says Jesse, is to become a leading global sustainability consumer brand. 

Find out more about the Rens shoes here. You can view the kickstarter page and pre-order here.