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Coffee fibre fabric – Big draw with global brands
Jul '11
Coffee-ground fibre, which acts as a shield against the harmful ultraviolet rays and has faster drying capacity, has drawn attention of some of the leading global brands.

As overseas competition ate up over one-third of Taiwan's export share, the once flourishing textile industry in the country entered the current decade in need of a revival. And, one company has managed to get the much needed boost for revival from a startling source - coffee.

Xinzhuang, Taiwan-based Singtex Industrial Co has innovated a new fabric named 'S. Cafe' that comprises Starbucks and 7-Eleven's coffee grounds. The new innovation has proved to be a success with leading global brands like North Face and Nike.

Coffee grounds form around two percent of this new fabric, while polyester or nylon constitutes the rest. Industry experts say the material which took over three years to develop and is being sold under the catchphrase 'Drink it, wear it' reflects how the industry can evolve itself as an eco-friendly, cool and even savvy.

Jason Chen, Chairman of Singtex Industrial Co said that the new fibre is a step forward in the company's technological research and development. He added that the company invested around NT$ 50 million or US$ 1.7 million, which is equivalent to one-third of its capital to emerge with this new fabric.

Nonetheless, the investment has fetched good returns. The new fabric earned around NT$ 100 million to the company last year, and this year by May 31 the company has reaped NT$ 170 million through the coffee fibre-related business, which accounts for 20 percent of the company's overall earnings.

Coffee extracts in limited quantity endow the fabric with qualities like better odour resistance, faster drying capacity and a cover against UV rays. However, if excessive grounds are added, this may make the fibres to crack easily. Hence, the whole process has to be carried out carefully.

Singtex has about 70 internationally acclaimed brands as its clientele, from Japan's Mizuno to Germany's Puma.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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