Tacoma Based Five12 Apparel is Making Clothes With Recycled Coffee Grounds

Creating high performance gear out of sustainable materials.

Repurposing coffee grounds—and recycled water bottles and recycled windshields—to make active and outdoor apparel is next level and also so very Seattle. Named after the SR 512 highway in Tacoma, the Five12 team has developed moisture-managing fabric to keep their clothes dry on the inside and out, while maintaining breathability, for protection in our PNW climate. 

C Side Top ($25) & XCell Performance Short ($35). 

80% of the grounds come from Starbucks Taiwan and the remaining 20% are from local roasters (i.e. 85C Bakery Cafe). Grounds are picked up after they’ve been used and are “post-consumable” material. Last year, Five12 used close to 2,000 pounds of grounds, which is equivalent to about 45k cups of coffee.

The oil is extracted from the grounds leaving a fine coffee ground powder that is infused into and encapsulates yarn making the fabric:

  • Odor controlled
  • 200% faster dry time
  • Breathable
  • UV-protected
Panama Coffee Tee from recycled coffee grounds ($28).

The “Shield” gear bags use water resistant fabric made from recycled windshields. BMW 2 owns a recycling plant that repurposes the windshields by shaking the glass free from the film covering. The film is then melted down and coats the bag to make it weather resistant and hydrophobic.

We had a chance to chat with Ryan McIntosh, Five12’s Director of Business Development who is “highly anticipating the new training shorts—PDR—and the board short—Captola—available January 1st. It’s cut similarly to the Lululemon men’s short with a tapered leg, but this one offers a flat elastic waistband for ultimately flexibility/mobility and function. They are made of recycled water bottles and coffee grounds.”

Five12 apparel is available on their website as well as on also on Mercury Mile. Mercury Mile is an online retail running store where they build you a custom package based on a profile you fill out. Other brands featured include Brooks, Adidas, Saucony, and Mizuno.

Shield Rollup Backpack made from recycled windshields ($89).