Ccilu has brewed up another footwear innovation, this time to benefit the environment.
The Japanese footwear brand is known for creating technologies focused on comfort and wellness, such as its Stepping Stones massage sandal, which won the 2018 Red Dot Design Award for Fashion & Lifestyle accessories. Now its latest technology, XpreSole, finds a sustainably minded use for an item from your kitchen trash — coffee grounds.
And today, the company was honored again by the Red Dot awards with a 2019 Honorable Mention for Product Design.
Ccilu’s R&D team has spent three years developing XpreSole, which recycles used coffee grounds into a soft, flexible shoe sole material that is comfortable, anti-odor and helps Mother Earth on multiple fronts — first by reducing the amount of coffee waste and also by offering an alternative to shoe soles made from petroleum rubber.
To start, the brand has added XpreSole to two styles releasing on July 1. They include the Horizon Cara, which will retail for $59, and the Horizon Corey, priced at $69. Both will be sold at Ccilu branded stores worldwide and on its website, as well as at select retailers including Sportie LA.
According to the company, it chose to tackle the issue of coffee waste because 850 billion cups of coffee are poured each year, creating roughly 25 billion kilos of spent grounds. Not only do those coffee grounds accumulate in landfills, but they also emit methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes greatly to global warming.
Founder and CEO Wilson Hsu told FN that his company is deeply committed to improving the environment — so much so that it plans to share the XpreSole technology. “Ccilu considers this a tremendous opportunity for the entire footwear industry to collectively and significantly reduce gasoline consumption, carbon footprint and the rapidly developing effects of global warming,” he said. “Ccilu considers the sustainability of the footwear industry and our Mother Earth far more important than exclusively occupying this space.”
Hsu added that Ccilu will offer the XpreSole compound at a nominal cost to shoe manufacturers, which can use it as an alternative to the petroleum-based foams and plastics typically used in footwear midsoles and outsoles.
For its own part, the brand is incorporating the coffee-based material into more of its own footwear designs. In spring ’20, Ccilu will debut a full line of sandals, wedges sneakers featuring XpreSole.
And Hsu has other plans in mind,as well. “Our company is committed to a continuous investment in more R&D resources and to expanding the applications of the XpreSole technology into more product categories (i.e., apparel),” he said.