INTERNATIONAL - 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 chief executive 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 colour of sunglasses which suits everything. Secondly, there are lots of coffee grounds in the world,” Havrylenko said. 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 perfect Ochis Coffee sunglasses that are now available for $78 (R1194) to $89. 

The main advantage of sunglasses made of coffee grounds and flax glued by vegetable oil is that if disposed of, they turn into a fertiliser after 10 years, he said. Ochis Coffee’s first fund raising effort on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter raised $13000, surpassing an initial $10000 target and attracted customers from the US, western Europe, Japan and Australia. 

Havrylenko said only 10percent of clients were from Ukraine. “Our super goal is to promote at least in Ukraine and in the entire world,” he said. 

REUTERS