Which entrepreneur does not want it: come up with a solution or product that no one had thought of before.

In this series, entrepreneurs talk about the gap in the market they discovered and their way there.

This time: lingerie made from coffee grounds.

  • What: Undercharments, durable bras and briefs made from coffee grounds

  • Creator: Claudia Ahlers

How did you get the idea?

"I noticed that there was little choice between high-end lingerie and basics. High-end sets do not always fit well because of the many lace and basics are comfortable but often just a bit too boring. I knew that much more had to be possible. I started thinking from there. It took me a while to develop the products well technically. "

Tell me.

"I thought it had to be sustainable lingerie and that it had to be stretchable: it moves with your body and is skin-friendly. With this list my search started. I eventually found a fabric made from recycled coffee grounds. It is soft material, odor neutralizing, quick-drying, white in color and free of harmful substances. This fabric was right on my wish list. As far as I know, nobody uses coffee grounds to make lingerie. And if people are wondering: it doesn't smell like coffee. "

How does that actually work, making dust from coffee?

"This knowledge lies with the manufacturer. Basically they make it by extracting oil from the coffee grounds and making fibers from it. Then they can use the fibers to make dust"

"I've had moments when I thought: I'll quit."

Did everything go well for you in setting up your business?

"I have had moments when I thought: I quit. There have been enough bumps. For example, it is important that the fabric is cut correctly, with the fiber. I let a company do that, but the first time. I got it cut in the wrong direction, despite the clear instructions. Setting up a brand is a learning process and I kept thinking in terms of solutions in all the setbacks. "

You also use bamboo in your products, where do we find this in?

"I also sell shirts, which are made of bamboo. Bamboo has the same properties as coffee. And the material keeps you warm when it is cold and cool at high summer temperatures. It is also super soft. These types of fabrics are very much on the rise. . "

"The group of consumers who embrace sustainable products is growing but still small."

How are things now going with the sale of your products?

"I just started, so I'm now working hard on getting more brand awareness. People have to get used to the story of lingerie made from coffee grounds. In addition, it is still a niche product, the group of consumers who embrace sustainable products is growing but still small. Like any brand, I have to shout out loud for the right communication channels so that the target group knows where to find me. "

What is your dream?

"I still have a lot to explain when it comes to using sustainable materials and I hope to make this coffee material more known through my products. At a later stage I will further expand my brand. Coffee remains the basis, but I also want lingerie with make other prints. And shirts made of other durable material, such as a fabric made of wood pulp. "

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