Six Butler College of Business students are selling tote bags made entirely from discarded coffee bean bags.
The bags, which sell for $30, are available at http://www.revinylindy.com/. The project is part of Butler’s Real Business Experience class, which requires students to form a company, create a product, and bring it to market.
“This is just a great project,” said Maree Smith, one of the students who founded the company, which is called ReVinyl. “We are able to contribute to reuse and recycling efforts by keeping these bags out of landfills and we give people a distinctive tote bag unlike any other.”
The idea began with sophomore Jack Sigman, a former employee at Hubbard and Cravens. He noticed that the large burlap bags containing coffee beans could not be reused after the beans are dumped into the roasting machines.
Sigman mentioned this to classmate and fellow sophomore Tyler Simon, who had founded a student-run company in high school that converted discarded vinyl banners into carry-all bags.
Together, Sigman, Simon, and four other students in the Real Business Experience class started ReVinyl.
Sigman said the bags are sewn in Indianapolis by United Alterations. The bags are provided by local coffee roasters in the Indy area.
The bags are lined, attractive, and durable, he said.
“The bags would end up in a landfill otherwise,” Sigman said, “so might as well put them to good use.”
He said the students are looking to partner with environmentally conscious business or organizations to help grow the business in the coming months. ReVinylIndy can be reached through Facebook and Instagram (ReVinylIndy).