Ministry of Supply is a fashion start-up founded by MIT engineers, designers and material scientists intent on revolutionizing business clothing. Founded in 2010, they’ve already tackled work shirts, trousers and undershirts, but now they’ve turned their attention to the wardrobe workhorse we all know as the sock.
Being MIT engineers, MOS has used all sorts of thermal mapping, pressure mapping and mapping mapping to design Atlas, a sock they claim fits and flexes like a second skin. The best part, they’ve infused carbonized (think really dark roast) coffee into their recycled polyester thread that is supposed to work like a filter for bad odors, effectively preventing your feet from smelling after a long day at the office, or working bar pulling shots.
Odor control is difficult in socks. As such, we turned to nature to find an effective way to create a fresher sock, leading us to coffee. Atlas uses carbonized coffee which has been reclaimed from coffee roasters and shops, and is processed through a pharmaceutical process to remove the coffee oils (so it won’t smell like coffee!) and is then infused into our recycled polyester yarns. –MOS
The innovative new socks are being pre-sold through Kickstarter and the initial goal has already been surpassed four times over. So if you love a fresh pair of socks as much as a good cup of coffee, you may be interested in checking them out.
This week at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo, thousands of people will gather to watch the World Barista and Brewers Championships and wander through endless aisles of the latest coffee equipment. There will be meetings with coffee exporters from around the world and new product demos, all accompanied by a limitless number of drinks served from a myriad of complimentary coffee bars.
Usually all this free expo coffee leads to lots of wasted paper cups, but the homegrown Australian company KeepCup is going to try and limit that waste. Coinciding with the launch of a new global campaign called “Salute the Reuser,” KeepCup will manage three wash stations at this weekend’s coffee expo where they’ll wash reusable cups (of any kind). Beyond just keeping your mug clean, they will be donating 10 cents for each cup washed to Coffee Kids, a non-profit that supports families in coffee growing regions.
As the official Sustainability Sponsor of this year’s expo, KeepCup is tackling an issue that often gets discussed, but rarely addressed at these types of events, “how to reduce disposable waste.” I’ve used my KeepCup on planes, trains, boats and mountains—wherever I don’t have easy access to ceramic or glass, my KeepCup is there. I’ve been an advocate of the KeepCup for some time (and even sell DCILY versions), not just for the practicality of the product, but for the authenticity of the brand and the contributions the company has made to the coffee community. This is a a great initiative and we should not only salute the reuser, but also KeepCup for their continued efforts.
KeepCup has also worked with some of the world’s best letter artists, Jessica Hische and Timba Smits, to create several versions of their mantra for the campaign—they’d look great on a reusable tote. Salute the reuser and damn thy disposable.
Mason jars are beautiful vessels for drinking everything from lemonade to ice tea. While some people have tried promoting them for hot coffee, it never seemed very practical on account of the heat. But now, thanks to a couple crafty guys in Vermont, the mason jar is not only a viable take-away option, but it just got a bit sexier.
The Holdster is a leather coffee clutch designed by Marsh Gooding that has been made by hand and sold locally in Vermont, until now. The company’s dream of expanding nationally has been realized by Kickstarter backers who easily helped them surpass their goal. The company currently sells 4 models, with and without handles, ranging from $20 – $30 (much less than an early 19th century zarf).
The Holdster offers a unique, reusable solution in a new form that is well designed and beautifully crafted. Now any standard wide-mouth mason jar can become your new favorite coffee mug. Congrats to Marsh and Bobby for successfully funding their goal, and giving us one more way to avoid paper. Damn thy disposable.
The Lovewright Co. is a southern California-based lifestyle brand that’s teamed up with Jyumoku, another California based designer, who specializes in bags made from repurposed material to develop “The Roasters Collection.” The matching duffel and tote bag are made from salvaged military tents and contrasting burlap giving a refined quality to the idea of repurposed coffee sack bags.
I don’t know if the burlap used actually comes from repurposed coffee bags, but the aesthetic seems to have inspired the name. If you’re a roaster or green coffee buyer who travels to origin, this may be the perfect luggage to load up on your way to the farm.
Coffee is a wonderful thing. But it takes a vast amount of resources to bring us our daily cup(s). The least we can do is try to minimize that impact. In an ideal world, everyone has the time to sit down with a ceramic mug and enjoy their coffee until it’s gone. However, in real life people have things to do and places to go—so they take their coffee with them. All of those cups add up (500 Billion per year) and they do a great job of ruining the drinking experience as well.
For the last year, I’ve been trying to find the best travel cup for my coffee. Ceramic tastes the best, but it’s too heavy, too fragile and those rubbery lids are worse to drink from than plastic ones. Stainless steel would seem to be the most “sustainable” but you still end up drinking through a plastic lid and they’re a costly investment. So after weighing the benefits of several different option, including the overall design, cost, functionality, taste, etc.—the KeepCup is my favorite option available for mobile coffee drinkers.
So I partnered with the Mug Users Guild to bring DCILY fans a reusable cup that works great, looks great and lets the world know how you feel about all those paper cups.
The 8oz (black) is my favorite and holds the perfect amount for an AeroPress on the go. The 12oz (white) will let you carry a bit more but still has markings for both 8oz and 12oz volumes on the inside of the cup. These also fit under the grouphead of most espresso machines, which means the barista won’t need to waste a cup, just to transfer the drink. The lids are splash proof—not spill proof. So you can walk or drive around without spilling, but don’t take it rock climbing or throw it in a bag with coffee inside. [also great for poolside cocktails when there's no glass allowed]
While a KeepCup isn’t the same as drinking from a ceramic or glass mug, the taste differences are more of a perception than a reality and the rounded design of the lids make drinking from them far more enjoyable than a standard disposable one. KeepCups are BPA free, recyclable at the end of their life and have been tested for up to 1000 uses (more technical details).
The DCILY KeepCups are limited, so get them while you can! Make 2012 the year you stop throwing away coffee cups and damn thy disposable.
While cool in theory, it’s fitting that Nespresso is reusing its aluminum capsules and coffee grounds to power a clock. This way we can accurately count down how much time we have left before we completely destroy our planet for stupid conveniences like Nespresso capsules and their unsexy cousin, the K-Cup.
Designed by Mischer’Traxler for Vienna Design Week, the installation—in Nespresso Austria’s storefront—shows how the contents of six used capsules can be wired together to power a small clock. The whole exhibit (96 capsules) could power a small radio. How neat! But, I can’t help but wonder how many clocks could be powered by the energy used to manufacture, ship, and dispose of the Nespresso capsules in the first place. I doubt Nespresso user’s will be turning all their old capsules into batteries anytime soon.
While I usually herald such clever reuse in design, the fact that this was funded by a company whose entire business model revolves around disposability, it makes this nothing more than an creative green washing of their image. There’s nothing sustainable about a product that has a 30 second life span before it’s thrown away. Yet, it was still named one of three winners in a competition titled, “Sustain.Ability.Design.”
I’ve posted great examples of coffee sack reuse before, and I’ve recently come across another with Ashley’s patio chairs. After tiring of the original seat covers, she decided to replace them with some of the coffee sacks she got for free from a local roaster. It sounds like we’re both drawn to the aesthetic of the screen printed type on burlap and she’s found a great way to integrate the look into her home (or atleast on the porch).
A complete how-to was posted on Ashley’s blog, Makin’ It.
I’ve always loved the graphics and type on coffee sacks. They have a great modern feel that contrasts so much with the origin they’ve traveled from. It always makes me happy to see them filled with beans and stacked on pallets when I visit roasters. I’ve also seen them hung like flags in cafes like a patriotic ode to the countries they support. Thanks to Gus* Modern, you can rest your feet on repurposed coffee sacks while you enjoy your favorite cup!
Last December we wrote about the Beta Cup challenge (still trying to raise money at that point), but since then, Starbucks has stepped in and offered to sponsor the competition. According to Core77, the contests media sponsor, there have been over 152 entries to rethink the current system for coffee to-go. You can view and rate the entries so var on Jovoto. There are a lot of great ideas floating around and it will great to see how quickly the winning solution can be implemented. Good luck to all the participants.
First the Coffee Party, and now the Mug Hug! I need to start sleeping with foil over my head because my ideas are becoming realities faster than I can make them happen myself.
The Mug Hug is a solution to a problem I’ve discussed on here various times regarding disposable cups. Just stop offering them and make customers bring their own mugs. “But what if I want to take it to go,” the critics cry. This is your answer. The Mug Hug is a silicone lid that fits on most standard size ceramic mugs to keep your coffee from splashing and spilling while you walk back to the office. Now you can stop wasting cups, crying, and use your favorite mug everyday.
Below is a photo from my sketchbook, which I emailed in early January to my brother. It’s called the Mug Buddy™ and is basically the exact same product. I almost had a heart attack when Mug Hug began following me on Twitter. *Sigh*