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Meet the business that puts the “cycling” in upcycling

20/07/2017 9:54 AM

1 Degree caught up with the founders of  Tread & Pedals, Ivan Hackel and Emma Dinkgreve, following their participation in 1 Degree’s Sustainability Showcase. 

It’s such a great concept, how did you come up with the idea for Tread and Pedals? 

We started Tread & Pedals back in 2011 as a response to the large volume of bicycle parts we saw headed for landfill. As lovers of bicycles with a passion for sustainability and a great reverence for the environment the amount of waste we were seeing generated by one of our favourite things – bicycles, caused us great concern and we wanted to find an alternative. In particular it was parts like tyres, bike chain, wheels, gears and bicycle inner tubes, all of which were no longer fit for use on a bike, but in no way were they ready to join the mountains of trash at the tip. We started looking at these parts in a different way, and came up with a bunch of ideas as to how these items could be given a second life. It was through upcycling and re-purposing that we were able to take these parts and breathe fresh life into them, creating pieces like our Bike Wheel Clocks, Bike Chain Chandeliers, Bike Tube Earrings, Bike Tyre Belts and Cog & Chain Bottle Openers.

     

What are some of the most unusual and surprising things you’ve been able to make out of bicycle parts? 

The most surprising thing that we create is the bicycle tube jewellery. We often have people thinking our inner tube range is made from leather or feathers, they get a pleasant surprise when we tell them that they’re in fact made from a recycled bicycle inner tubes. A lot of the items that we make still have a more visual connection to where they’ve come from; with the clocks they are formed through the welding of gears or a bicycle wheel, the stubby holders are made using a treaded mountain bike tyre, the cufflinks are made using highly polished bike chains, but the bike tubes look very different to their original form being crafted in the shape of feathers, leaves, butterfly wings and tassels.

  

What advice would you give to someone who has an idea for their own sustainability focused business or product? 

Go for it, don’t let your fear of failure, or success hold you back. There is great demand from consumers for eco-friendly products and businesses now so the timing couldn’t be better. Make sure when starting out that you develop a business plan and set yourself some achievable and some big dream goals to reach.

What does the principle of “zero waste” mean to you and how is it integrated into your business?

For us “Zero Waste” is about minimising the impact that we as a business have on the environment and keeping our production of waste to a minimum. Our business was founded as a response to waste, in an effort to reduce the large amount of bike parts we saw going to landfill. We take bike parts that would otherwise end up as trash and turn them into our unique designs. At Tread & Pedals we are strong believers in supporting ethical and eco-friendly products, and practice reduce, re-use and re-purpose, then recycle in every aspect of our business and in our daily lives.

What are some of the things we can all do that will help us move towards zero waste?

As individuals we can all make simple changes to our lives to move towards zero waste. It is about the little steps or choices we make that add up; like choosing to take reusable bags to the supermarket instead of using single use plastic bags, taking a reusable coffee cup to get your morning coffee, fixing punctures in your bike tubes and making the choice to say “no thanks” to single use disposable plastic items. Shop smart and tell companies through your shopping habits of the change you want in the world. Support local businesses, eco-friendly shops and those who produce great quality products that will last the test of time.

If you would like to find out more about Tread & Pedals, click here to go to their website.