Recycled ocean plastics to make Bicycle mudguards – The story so far…

Recycled ocean plastics to make Bicycle mudguards – The story so far…

OceanX Mudguards made from recycled fishing Nets

Ecotribo is excited about our OceanX recycled ocean plastics project with Rideguard. We will be making the worlds first bicycle mudguards made from recycled fishing nets. We all know how big a problem ocean plastic waste is so we decided to do something about it.

Some of you may be interested in the back story to how the OceanX project came about and how we are turning the ocean waste problem into sustainable products.

It’s been an epic story to make a positive outcome for the environment and bring the OceanX project to life. For many years I have been working with recycled, ocean plastics and biomaterial waste streams. A design project I did on the side of my usual marketing job. As a surfer, the ocean, nature and outdoor pursuits had always been my passion and I wanted, more than anything, to bring these things into my daily life.

I met Ben Gaby, another designer and environmentalist, at a local advertising agency who specialised in bikes. We were two freelancer designers wanting to ride bikes, boards and do good. We bonded over discussions about design, the environment, his work with Surfers Against Sewerage, trash-free trails, bikes, boards and the outdoors. We became friends instantly.

Ben and I had been in conversation for a while around my material design experiments and exploration. A side project I had going on exploring alternatives to plastics as well as recycled plastic waste streams. During my research, I had come across a recycled Cornish fishing net material and created a few prototypes. I was keen to demonstrate how we could make things from waste and turn problems into products.

Ben, being equally as passionate about the environment, uses recycled industrial plastic within Rideguards current range. He was interested to see if recycled fishing net material would be suitable for his mudguards and we could help clean our oceans together. I jumped at the opportunity and we started working together.


Recycled Fishing
Net Surf Fin

Recycled Fishing Net
Bicycle Mudguards

Recycled Fishing Net Prototype in action


Rideguard and Ecotribo became partners on what we ended up calling – project OceanX. Working with coastal communities on the collection and processing of end of life fishing nets. We are giving commercial value to this precious resource and preventing it from being discarded. By finding new avenues for this material we are protecting our oceans and marine ecosystems. Both of our missions are to make quality products whilst creating a sustainable business that is good for people and planet.

We got to work. I created a 3D printed prototype mudguard from the material to see if it would be suitable for the rigours of mountain biking. The tests were a great success and we have been working on finding suppliers of the material, liaising with them and ensuring manufacturers are happy to do this at scale. We worked out we needed a lot of money to make this happen so created a Kickstarter campaign in the hope that we could get some financial help from the community.

Within a few weeks, we had raised over £4,124! We had loads of interest from the community of riders, bike press, environmental groups and Pro riders.


Recycled Ocean Plastics – The Rideguard + Ecotribo OceanX Kickstarter Video.


But it was not enough. At over £4k we had not hit the Kickstarter target and we got nothing. We had to start again. It was a kick in the teeth that after so much interest we still did not get fully funded. After a week or so we dusted ourselves off and got back on the bike so to speak. We were not going to stop. We had loads of support and felt the community of riders behind us. We were going to have to do this on our own…

We looked at the budget again and by not going with Kickstarter realised we could save nearly half the money. (Kickstarters fees are 10% and the international postage has to also be included in the campaign, making things very expensive.) We had run a great campaign and had got lots of interest we could maximise. So without these extra expenses, we decided to fund it all ourselves.

Things have grown from strength to strength and I continue to be a part of the Rideguard team. We have collected 1 ton of fishing nets now and have a couple of pro riders on board who we have made custom designs for and want to help us promote the project. (They will be announced soon) The material has been processed and cleaned. The material has been made into sheets ready for the final process of printing the designs on.

We have been busy creating various video assets, social stories and designs for the range so keep an eye out on the Instagram profile. The launch is a lot of work as we do this amongst a day job.


‘Deity’ Rideguard

Deity Illustration


As things stand we have cleaned 1 ton of material from our oceans, processed it and formed our sheet material ready to be printed. We are so close and things are looking good…

Bam! We have hit another bump in the road! Due to COVID -19, the material is sat in a warehouse and not moving as the factory has closed indefinitely… We are looking at other options and have found printers who can finish the job but it means new relationships, cutter guides and machinery…

We have been through so much to make this happen and it will. They say: ‘When victory is closest things get hard’. They also say… ‘it all works out in the end. If it’s not working out… it’s not the end.’

We have had to find deep reserves, meditate, listen to a lot of wisdom and read a lot of bumper stickers to get through. They have all helped. As have good friends, family and the community of riders and ocean lovers who have supported us. For you, for the oceans, the bike trails, the natural spaces we all love, we will keep going… For now, we need to pause and reflect. We need to think of all the good things that have happened and know the tide will turn. Stay tuned for new developments as we continue to find sustainable solutions to ocean waste.

If you are interested in finding out how the story ends, getting exclusive insider product testing information, please signup to the OceanX newsletter. We will be able to offer discounts, insights into our R&D and research, invitations to events and workshops. Signup, and be one of the first to know when we get the OceanX mudguard off the ground.

OceanX Logo

OceanX Bicycle Mudguards made from recycled Ocean Plastics now on Kickstarter

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Since the launch of Ecotribo we have been on a mission to make a sustainable design business and have been trying to develop strategies of pollution prevention, eco product development. I have been super busy and working with some exciting brands with this objective in mind. 

This year I have been doing a R&D project with a large European food brand. I can’t currently share the project details but now I can finally share the other project I have been super excited about! The Rideguard OceanX Kickstarter project.

Please pledge to the campaign on Kickstarter

A collaboration with Bristol bike company, Rideguard

I am collaborating with Rideguard who are a wonderful local Bristol Business who have been making mudguards for over 4 years. Rideguard have been using post industrial waste plastics for their current range but Ecotribo are now helping them go even further. I have been working with Ben Gaby at Rideguard to develop a new range made form Ocean Plastics.  We’re proud to introduce the OceanX range of bike mudguards/fenders, made from 100% recycled fishing nets which has been launched on Kickstarter. Please check out the project and make a pledge if you can. 

The OceanX range of designs

By choosing this material we will be preventing nets from being discarded in our oceans, where they cause large-scale damage to marine ecosystems and animals, before breaking down into micro-plastics and ending up in the food chain and the fish we eat. The recycled fishing net material reduces C02 emissions by up to 95% compared to virgin plastics. The material is completely recycled and recyclable in kerbside council pickups.

This is more than just a range of mudguards, it’s about how the cycling industry can be the change that we want to see. 

With this campaign alone we aim to take 1 ton of Ocean waste out of the seas and turn it into rad bike gear. This is just the start of our journey as we hope to create a range of cycling gear made from recycled ocean plastic waste. Please support us and visit, make a pledge and share!

The OceanX Mudguard Range. Designed to universally fit Mountain Bikes, Disk Equipped Gravel, Road, CX, and Hybrid Bikes. 

•  Vision Front Gravel Mudguard. Fits Disc Brake Equipped Gravel, Cross, Road, and Hybrid Bikes. 

•  Gaiter Rear Gravel Mudguard. Neatly clips onto all standard saddle rails. 

•  PF1 Front Mountain Bike Mudguard. Fits all modern MTBs with suspension forks. 

•  PF2 Rear Mountain Bike Mudguard. Neatly clips onto all standard saddle rails.

Please follow the OceanX campaign on Kickstarter today and share with your friends

OCEAN – A designer chair made from recycled plastic

OCEAN banner

OCEAN – Each piece of the chair represents a letter of the precious ocean we all share. When we work together we can find solutions. I made this recycled plastic chair “design story” to highlight the impacts that plastic pollution is having on our planet. But fundamentally to also provide a positive narrative, positive solutions and outcomes to this pollution horror story. The story can end well, there is hope for our planet! You can download my files for FREE to make your own now and share in the joy of making something useful from the pollution. There is lots of work to do and many people are finding positive solutions to the plastic problem, the tide is turning. Applying circular economy principles to global plastic pollution flows can transform the economy and dramatically reduce pollution into our precious oceans.

I have been working with recycled plastic, & eco materials, exploring design solutions to our eco-challenges for a few years. Dave Hakkens at Precious plastic has been a massive inspiration so please go check out the Precious Plastic site and start collaborating, designing, making and finding solutions.

This “OCEAN CHAIR” was made with local recycled condensed plastic sheets. I used a UK company called Stormboard who are based in Frome near where I live in Bristol. There are a few other companies now who make some beautiful, recycled plastic sheet materials in a variety of colours. I have been trying to make this material in various ways such as melting plastic milk bottles in my oven!  So I am very relieved that there are now manufacturers doing it for me ;-). I have decided to “open source” my OCEAN CHAIR files so if you interested you can make the chair yourself. Please use the files to create your own (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International) (if you could be kind enough to credit, tag me that would be most welcome), share, adapt or get inspired and or create something new. Also if you just want to buy one please get in touch with me and we can discuss your preferred colours, material, timelines etc.

If you do make the OCEAN chair please do send me a picture I’d love to see it.

Good luck.

PLEASE SIGNUP TO OUR EMAIL LIST TO RECEIVE THE FREE FILES OR GET IN TOUCH

New range of surf & home products made in the UK from recycled ocean plastic

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[fusion_text]I have been on a journey of discovery for quite a while. As a surfer for over 30 years I love the sea, I grew up in South Africa on the beach surfing every day. My daughter is called Oceana and I have always found my happy place anywhere where there was water. Having spent many days doing beach cleans, I wanted to find positive solutions to the waste we find on our beaches. As a designer I knew I could make a positive impact and demonstrate the value of this plastic we so carelessly throw away by making practical things from plastic waste.

I was first inspired by Dave Hakkens at Precious plastic a few years ago and the great work that they have been doing with regard to finding solutions to plastic waste.  Since then I have been experimenting with various waste streams over the last year and am now ready to make this dream a reality. I have located the right machinery to recycle, shred and injection mould our surf & home products and now busy finalising the CAD models for the first in a range of products we hope to launch in the summer of 2018.

Here is a sneak peak of one of the products to be made from ocean plastic waste and post-consumer waste.

[/fusion_text][separator style_type=”shadow” top_margin=”10″ bottom_margin=”30″ sep_color=”#050505″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”10″ alignment=”center” class=”” id=””][youtube id=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITMwYLjU6bY&list=PLIFbuiiAsHS0PmvwnnklxXnZNsFCzv4rs&index=9″ width=”800″ height=”550″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””][/youtube][separator style_type=”shadow” top_margin=”30″ bottom_margin=”10″ sep_color=”#050505″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”10″ alignment=”center” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]We have been experimenting with recycling local plastic waste streams and finding the right materials that work for our products and have found HDPE to be the ideal. Check out a closeup of the material below.

The machines are expensive but I feel it’s important to make this a reality and be the change we want to see in the world. The plan is in place and it’s coming together. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more or support us on our quest to help clean up our oceans, raise awareness of plastic waste, contribute positively to a better environment and a more sustainable circular economy.

I was first inspired by Dave Hakkens at Precious plastic a few years ago and the great work that they have been doing with regard to finding solutions to plastic waste.  Since then I have been experimenting with various waste streams over the last year and am now ready to make this dream a reality. I have located the right machinery to recycle, shred and injection mould our surf & home products and now busy finalising the CAD models for the first in a range of products we hope to launch in the summer of 2018.

Here is a sneak peak of one of the products to be made from ocean plastic waste and post-consumer waste.[/fusion_text][separator style_type=”shadow” top_margin=”30″ bottom_margin=”30″ sep_color=”#050505″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”10″ alignment=”center” class=”” id=””][images picture_size=”auto” hover_type=”none” autoplay=”yes” columns=”2″ column_spacing=”13″ scroll_items=”” show_nav=”yes” mouse_scroll=”no” border=”yes” lightbox=”yes” class=”” id=””][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”https://ecotribo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MAchines2-300×141.jpg” alt=”Ecotribo Recycled HDPE Plastic”][image link=”” linktarget=”_self” image=”https://ecotribo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/RecycledHDPE-300×141.jpg” alt=”Precious Plastic machines”][/images][separator style_type=”shadow” top_margin=”10″ bottom_margin=”30″ sep_color=”#050505″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”10″ alignment=”center” class=”” id=””]

Ecotribo Eco Designs of the year. This stuff will change the world.

EcodesignsOfTheYear V2

I would say the ‘Beasley designs of the year’, held at the Design Museum, London, is one of the most important shows of the year. Timeout London says: ‘We never miss this show’ and well, neither do I.  It’s a wonderful snapshot of the state of the world and the amazing solutions humans are capable of.

Now in its ninth year, Beazley Designs of the Year celebrates design that promotes or delivers change, enables access, extends design practice or captures the spirit of the year. It encompasses multiple disciplines from architecture, product design, graphic design, engineering, fashion and transport design.

I thought it would be a good idea to explore, in more detail, the stories behind some of our favourite designs, with a focus on the eco and environmental design solutions which excited us. There were quite a few that we believe will, or could have a fundamentally positive effect on our planet and therefore need promoting as much as possible. So over the next few months, we will go into a bit more depth into each of them so please stay tuned and sign up to the blog, so you make sure you don’t miss out.

Our Ecotribo Design of the year 2016/17 is the
‘WITT Ltd – Harvesting Energy from motion’.

Designed by Martin and Mari Wickett, with Schaeffler Gibbs Gear and funding from Innovate UK.

This design is so exciting as they have created technology that can create clean energy, simply by moved about. This design truly has the power to transform the world.

The Witt is a device that creates electricity from motion, providing an alternative, sustainable and unlimited power supply. Proudly developed right here in the West country it has recently been patented with tests carried out at Southhampton University. This wonderful product works in extreme conditions; is corrosion resistant and magically converts all movement into harvestable energy.

Under the hood there is a 3D pendulum that drives a transmission system, converting any motion, however chaotic, slow, fast or erratic into a unidirectional rotation of a flywheel to produce electricity. No other energy harvesting system can capture this full spectrum.

The possibilities are endless as WITT could be used to power boats, buoys and anything floating on the sea where power is required from powering data-buoys, meteorological data gathering and subsea monitoring (RNLI and global survival company, Survitec, have already agreed to deploy the WITTs at sea). It can also provide power for personal use in a rucksack powering laptops and mobile phones for hikers and business people on the go. In the long term, it could also be used on a much larger scale to generate grid level wave power with the first 10-15W WITT units ready in 2017.

For us here at Ecotribo, this design wins hands down because it’s enabling an accelerated transition towards sustainable energy models. We see this device as having as big an effect of sustainable energy creation as the solar panel and wind turbines. Go check out their site at WITT-energy.com share the great news with friends as this is a major milestone for our sustainable future.

Introducing Ecotribo ‘Fire Cluster’ Pendant Lamps

Ecotribo PendantLamp 2 LR

Designing with carefully selected up-cycled or recycled materials is at the forefront of my design ethos. The Ecotribo ‘Fire Cluster’ pendant lamps demonstrate the individual grain qualities of Oakwood and the unique qualities created by the ancient burnt wood technique of Shou-sugi-ban (Yakisugi 焼き杉) .

 

 

I’ve always been inspired by artists who dance on the cusp of creation and destruction. That wonderful place between life and death; ying and yang, it’s an edgy space I love to play in. The craft of making something beautiful & classic out of the world’s finest materials and then leaving mother nature to make her mark. Out of destruction a new beginning. I started burning my artworks many years ago because I loved this edgy aspect but have recently discovered it’s an ancient technique called Shou-sugi-ban Yakisugi 焼き杉. a Japanese technique that preserves wood by charring it with fire. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with a natural oil. I love the wonderful unique colours and shapes that are created, reminiscent of the first lamps used somewhere in an ancient cave. Its final shape reminds me of some ancient tribal cave yet works beautifully in a modern home.

 

Production of acorns starts at the age of 20 to 50 years. Oaks produce more than 2000 acorns every year, but only one in 10 000 acorns will manage to develop into an oak tree. So it’s important we upcycle the wood if we can and make something beautiful to be enjoyed for years to come.

 

These lamps are hand crafted out of upcycled Oak beams on a wood lathe in Bristol, United Kingdom. Then finished, using a flame torch. Acclaimed for its exceedingly strong and durable qualities, Oak is a traditional hardwood generally associated with geometric forms. The ‘Fire Cluster’ lamp challenges this perception by demonstrating a unique combination of modern day technology, combined with this ancient technique, providing something completely unique and organic. The final pieces have then been oiled, polished, and then fitted with vintage brass fittings and dimmable LEDs. We don’t use plastic fittings, only the finest brass we can find, so it will last for generations.

 


For more information about the Ecotribo ‘Fire Cluster’ pendant lamps range and for any bespoke inquiries please contact info@ecotribo.com

10 Reasons to use Bee Friendly Rape Seed Oil and where to get the best stuff

Bee friendly

Love bees, nature and healthy living? My partner and I have started to move away from Olive Oils using the local British rapeseed oil for a variety of reasons. Here are 9 good reasons to use Rapeseed Oil over any other oil and where to get the best Rapeseed Oil in Britain helping our bees at the same time!

To be clear we are talking Cold-pressed rapeseed oil, sometimes labelled premium, virgin or extra-virgin which has many health benefits over other traditionally used oils.

1. The oil is celebrated for its health benefits as it has less unhealthy saturated fat than ALL other cooking oils and fats.

2. It is also high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats omega 3, 6 and 9.
That’s good for brains and may help you fight against cardiovascular disease.

3. It’s a rich source of vitamin E.

4. Cooking benefits – rapeseed oil can be used at high temperatures so no burning & smoking!

5. It’s great used cold as well, for salad dressings, sauces and marinades.

6. Great flavour that lets the others shine through! Rapeseed Oil has a very light and delicate flavour so you get the best from the flavours of other ingredients in your dishes

7. Baking – rapeseed oil is a great substitute for butter (we haven’t tried this yet but heard its can!

8. Great to cook with, on salads etc.

9. Its made in Britain so it’s supporting local sustainable businesses

10. Ok maxed out and can’t find another reason but here are some fantastic farmers who are supporting bee-friendly practices by not using neonicotinoid seed treatments on their land. Please try to support them as they try to keep a natural balance in farm ecosystems: visit http://www.rapeseedoilguide.com/

Simple solutions to environmental problems-Creating Bee Highways & Nature Corridors

BeeHighways 450

Ecotribo are passionate about finding simple solutions to environmental problems. We believe that governments won’t save our planet but people like you and me implementing simple, well-designed, eco-friendly ideas into their lives. This is what we do, we conceive and implement ideas that make a positive difference to our environment. We are developing an exciting new product in the health and beauty sector that aims to massively reduce plastics in our environment. It could be huge and we want to get it right, so please be patient. In the meantime, we’ve been getting involved in another smaller, but beautifully simple and effective eco initiative – making bee highways and natural habitats in our neighbourhood.

Since the late 1990’s, beekeepers around the world have noticed the Bees decline. This has been caused by bee-killing pesticides used in industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens, climate change and continuing urbanisation. To protect our bees and agriculture we all know we need to move away from destructive industrial agriculture towards ecological farming. You can help by talking to your MP and get your local council to stop using bee-harming pesticides in local parks, promote eco-farming and help create natural habitats for them in urban areas. That’s where we got involved!

The problem needs a multifaceted approach for sure. At Ecotribo we believe in finding solutions that everyone can do. Simple ideas that can have big  solutions, so we got off our asses and decided to get involved…

Working with the local community and organisations such as TRESA here in Totterdown we have started building a Bee highway which we hope will continue to grow across the city of Bristol and the United Kingdom. Solutions don’t need to be complicated so anyone can get involved! By building these pallet planters and placing them across the city we are increasing the bees natural habitat and ensuring their survival.

We simply upcycled wooden pallets we found around the local hood and which were also kindly donated by our local woodyard people at Selco. You can find various instructables to help give you all the details and instructions to make your own planters and help us grow the bee highway not only here in Bristol but around the world. So if you love nature, bees and a bit of green, get involved and make your own! We would love to see your planters so please send us a link in the comments section or tweet us at http://twitter.com/ecotribolife

Go bees!



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