Who doesn’t hate smelly feet? Not feet that smell in general – that needs to be immediately check out by your doctor. No, what we’re talking about is the odour that comes from our feet from wearing dress socks after a long day of footsteps. It’s repulsive and downright embarrassing. There are already enough methods to neutralize those smells using many different products in the markets nowadays. But, as we all know, there’s never enough. So in this case, let’s introduce one more medium that can help with this smelly affair – Leftover coffee grounds.
Yes, you heard right. Coffee grounds. From the coffee that we drink.
Wearing footwear made from coffee grounds might sound a step too far but there’s a practical reason, according to Aman Advani, CEO and co-founder of Massachusetts-based apparel firm Ministry of Supply.
A former business consultant who used to regularly clock up thousands of air miles in his formal dress socks, Advani hated how they left his feet clammy after a long day’s work and travelling. What he initially did was cut off the upper tube of a dress sock and stitched it to the sweat-absorbent sole of an athletic sock to make his first “performance dress sock”. The coffee idea wasn’t too far down the corner from there on then.
In 2012, Advani and a fellow graduates from MIT university then set up a menswear label named Ministry of Supply in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. One of their biggest issues they then found from customer feedback was regarding the socks, and of course, their smelliness.
And in order to counter this issues, Advani explains why coffee grounds make perfect sense. ““Coffee was a natural and powerful solution — nothing could compete,” says 31-year-old Advani. “When you go to a department store’s fragrance section, you’ll see coffee beans on the counters to cleanse your nasal palate. Coffee actually neutralises odours.”
Launched on Kickstarter three years ago, their Atlas Series dress socks, incorporating 40% coffee-infused recycled polyester, won crowdfunding of $204,601. Retailing for $15 a pair, they are now one of their most popular lines, Advani says. The carbonized grounds, reclaimed from coffee roasters and shops, go through a pharmaceutical process to remove the oils before being infused into the fibres of recycled polyester yarn.
“We recommend treating them like your typical sock and washing after every wear. But we’ve heard that you can wear the socks for a week without much of a smell,” he says.