What do coffee beans, coconuts, and copper have in common? They all make great clothing! With scientific breakthroughs in textile research, manufacturers are now able to create garments using naturally grown or recycled materials that you'd never think would end up in your t-shirts or jackets. Watch out, cotton and wool: Here are five surprising items you can now find in clothing.
After coconuts are used by the food service industry, the coconut shell waste is reduced to carbon and used to make Cocona fabric. This fabric offers benefits such as the ability to evaporate moisture quickly (to keep you cool), odor management, breathability, and UV protection. You can find Cocona fabric in outdoor performance apparel brands like Adidas.
The same cork that's being used for wine bottle stoppers will soon be available as insulation for clothing. Schoeller Textil has created corkshell, a fabric made from byproducts from the production of wine corks. Cork comes from the cork oak tree with bark that's full of bubbles (great for trapping in heat!). In addition to offering insulation, corkshell is lightweight so you won't feel bulky in a corkshell jacket.
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Cupron Inc. embeds copper compounds into man-made fibers (like polyester), so that the copper is actually part of the fiber and won't wash out. Turns out, copper has great benefits for the body: it's antimicrobial and it stimulates protein in the skin. Cupron makes a diabetic sock that kills Athlete's Foot fungus, but Reebok uses it for anti-odor athletic apparel and Iluminage for anti-wrinkling pillow cases.
Drinking a hot coffee on a cold day isn't the only way to keep warm: recycled coffee bean grounds (referred to as "coffee charcoal") are used in fabrics for insulation benefits. Virus, an athletic apparel brand, has created base layer fabrics using the coffee charcoal that increases the skin's temperature by 10 degrees. These base layers are designed specifically for cold weather sports.
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You may have heard of clothing made from recycled polyester, but did you know this polyester can be from post-consumer water bottles? In fact, much of Patagonia's clothing, from board shorts to fleece jackets, is made of recycled polyester, often from recycled bottles. If you've ever wondered what happens to a water bottle when you recycle, just think - one day you could be wearing it.
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