Upcycling with Nespresso

An afterlife for coffee capsules
Velosophy bike

"Beautifully designed, responsibly sourced and sustainably produced." With these words, Jimmy Östholm, CEO and founder of Vélosophy, introduced his company's stylish new RE:CYCLE bike.

This unique bicycle is the fruit of a partnership with Nespresso whereby 300,000 Arpeggio coffee capsules have been recycled or ‘upcycled’ for use in the frames of 1000 limited edition bikes.

RE:CYCLE is the fruit of two years of co-development work from the two brands. Östholm says the greatest challenge was converting the lightweight aluminum into a material rigid enough to meet safety standards. Hardly rocket science, he explains, but it took some time.

Nespresso Velosophy video

“I see in Nespresso a strong commitment to sustainability, which is why this has been the dream partnership. We are proud to have co-created a bike that takes on the future,” Östholm says.

On the Nespresso side, the partnership sends out a powerful message to consumers, showing them that their recycling efforts are vital to give aluminum – an infinitely recyclable material – a second life.

Motivating people to recycle

“Many people don’t realize that our capsules can be easily recycled, or that a portioned system is a more sustainable way of preparing a cup of coffee,” Jean-Marc Duvoisin, Nespresso CEO, says.

“We need a strong message, told in a powerful way, in order to motivate people to recycle,” he adds.

I see in Nespresso a strong commitment to sustainability, which is why this has been the dream partnership
Jimmy Östholm, CEO and founder of Vélosophy

Making such limited edition products to encourage recycling is just one way Nestlé is contributing to building a circular economy. It helps fulfill the company’s commitment to acting on climate change, and contributes to building a sustainable, environmentally friendly business around the globe.

As part of Nestlé’s global commitment to recycling, Nespresso has set up a comprehensive recycling ecosystem for its coffee capsules. The brand has capsule recycling programs in 53 countries, and invested USD 40 million in its recycling operations in 2018.

Driving positive disruption

The Vélosophy partnership isn’t the first of its kind for Nespresso, which previously partnered with Caran d’Ache to create a unique, environmentally friendly pen made from used coffee capsules.

Nespresso pen video

It followed another, distinctly Swiss partnership from 2016, when Nespresso partnered with Victorinox to make a limited edition version of the iconic ‘Pioneer’ Swiss Army knife.

With Swiss design company Zena, the brand also created a limited edition vegetable peeler made from Nespresso capsules – again, using the purple Arpeggio Grand Cru capsules.

While the Vélosophy bikes may initially attract a few puzzled looks in Nespresso boutiques, such positive disruption is the hallmark of these innovative collaborations. They show people the potential in resources they see as ‘waste’, and challenge them to consider the impacts of their consumption.