August 28, 2019 / 3:03 PM / 2 months ago

Wake up and smell the coffee: from your Ukrainian sunglasses

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s innovative OCHIS eyewear brand is getting customers to literally smell the coffee - by making sunglasses out of coffee waste.

Driven by an ambition to create eco-friendly yet fashionable sunglasses, OCHIS COFFEE CEO Maksym Havrylenko experimented with various herbs like mint, parsley, and cardamom, before he found the right natural material in coffee waste.

Green industries already use coffee waste to produce furniture, cups, printing ink, and biofuel, but Havrylenko is a pioneer in using it to make sunglasses, which smell of the freshly brewed beverage.

“First, coffee is black which is a classic color of sunglasses which suits everything. Secondly, there are lots of coffee grounds in the world. There are millions of tonnes of coffee grounds in the world,” Havrylenko told Reuters.

Havrylenko, who comes from a family of opticians and had 15 years of experience in the eyewear industry, had to dump some 300 samples before creating what he said were perfect OCHIS COFFEE sunglasses that are now available for $78-89.

The main advantage of sunglasses made of coffee grounds and flax glued by vegetable oil is that if disposed, they turn into a fertilizer after 10 years, he said.

OCHIS COFFEE’s first fund raising effort on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter raised $13,000, surpassing an initial $10,000 target and attracted customers from the United States, western Europe, Japan and Australia. Havrylenko said only 10% of clients were from Ukraine.

“Our super goal is to promote at least in Ukraine and in the entire world, first, the idea of production of clean products and, second, proper waste disposal,” he said.

(This story has been refiled to fix typo in the headline.)

Reporting by Margaryta Chornokondratenko and Gleb Garanich; writing by Anna Rzhevkina; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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