Featured on Forbes: The Evolution Hoodie

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A Utah apparel company called Coalatree is making hoodies using recycled coffee grounds. No, the hoodie won't let you absorb caffeine through the skin (unfortunately, for drowsy coffee drinkers). But they're also made with plastic bottles, so the feeling of sustainability is comforting.

The Evolution Hoodie is said to be snuggly. Coalatree notes that it takes thousands of liters of water to make one cotton shirt. Each hoodie is made of fiber derived from three cups of recycled coffee grounds and 10 plastic bottles. They're selling for $69 via an Indiegogo campaign,  and expected to ship to backers in September.

Spent coffee grounds are mixed and melted with recycled plastic bottles, then extruded into the fibers to create the hoodie. The process requires minimal resources and uses sustainable technologies such as solar power and gray water recycling, says J.M. Fabrizi, Coalatree's marketing manager. 

It turns out that coffee is good for more than just mugs in the morning.

"Coffee is a naturally odor-absorbing material and by weaving the grounds into the fibers, odors are trapped as you sweat," Fabrizi says. "Because the grounds are embedded into the fabric, this feature is permanent and will never wash out."

Coffee also is naturally moisture-wicking, the company says, so the hoodie dries quickly on a hike, for instance. And tiny pores in the fabric block nearly six times more ultraviolet rays than a traditional hoodie.

The hoodie is intended for travel, adventure and everyday use, and packed with features like pockets for a phone and passport.

Hiking socks also are being produced; odor-absorbing properties can be especially helpful for feet.

Coalatree has been around since 2010, according to Fabrizi. Besides finding green alternatives to cotton, they use surplus fabric to create blankets for the homeless in Salt Lake City, Utah; donate portions of sales on specific products to indigenous communities in need; and partner with local environmental organizations to care for trails and wild spaces.

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