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

aa insta rideguard pf1 geo blue2

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

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

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