Earth911: The next time you pull up a chair at your neighborhood Starbucks, you may be sitting on an old coffee sack.
The coffee giant is introducing chairs upholstered with recycled coffee sacks (above) first in its U.K. coffeehouses and then in stores in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the next five years.
New Zealand-based green design firm, The Formary, developed the new fabric for Starbucks chairs: Called “WoJo,” the textile is 70 percent wool and 30 percent recycled jute, the material used in coffee sacks.
The Formary’s key challenge in creating a textile from coffee sacks was preventing the jute’s fiber from shedding in the finished product. The designers found that blending the material with wool overcame that obstacle.
To make the product even more eco-friendly, the wool used in the WoJo fabric is sourced from New Zealand farms that are certified to meet high environmental standards.
“What WoJo proves is that when businesses are willing to innovate and make a sustained commitment to their environmental mission, they can really make a difference,” said The Formary co-founder Sally Shanks in a statement.