Making a face mask from old coffee grounds is a sustainable way to repurpose a product you might otherwise toss in the trash, but one environmentally conscious activewear company is taking coffee-upcycling a step further. California-based RUMI X actually transforms recycled coffee grounds into wearable fabric for their sports bras. After deeply considering her passions—spirituality, yoga, and nature—founder Melissa Chu knew she wanted to create a line of workout clothing that would help the environment, as opposed to the waste-heavy nature of most clothing manufacturing. As Chu writes on the RUMI X website, “I wanted to develop something that spoke to the devotion of my practice and [honors] my source of energy from spirituality, while simultaneously ensuring that our products were environmentally impactful and contributing to the solution, not being part of the problem.”
The company, which also creates activewear from recycled plastic bottles, sends coffee grounds and bottles to a recycling facility to begin the process of turning waste into fabric. According to RUMI X, the used coffee grounds are washed and dried, then eliminated of their oils to remove the coffee smell. Then—without using energy-inefficient heating procedures—the grounds are shaped into pellets, formed into raw thread, and spun into yarn. After the recycled-thread yarn is woven into the fabrics, RUMI X cuts them into their classic activewear. Recycled plastic bottles go through a similar treatment before becoming fabric for RUMI X sports bras and workout tops.
RUMI X’s workout gear isn’t just environmentally sustainable. According to the brand’s website, the combination of coffee ground-based yarn materials offer odor control and UV protection, and they're fast-drying. With more sun protection and less odor, those wearing RUMI X during high-intensity and outdoor workouts can work longer and harder.
The best part about RUMI X activewear, however, has to be the prices. Shirts start at $40, and basic bottoms start at $42.