Have you seen our new member of the team out and about?
We have a bike! It has joined the Earthian team to help us with deliveries, events and other kinds of transportation around our local area. Not only is this bike beautiful, but it is also sustainable, ethical and one of a kind.
This bike comes from Cycle Of Good and was originally built here in the UK for the Royal Mail as a high-quality and sturdy steel framed bike for our posties to deliver mail. When bike deliveries started to be phased out the Krizevac Project stepped in to save the decommissioned bikes from going to landfill. They refurbish them and give them a new lease of life as Elephant Bikes. But, the good doesn't stop there...
About Cycle of Good:
There is so much to love about this organization, from their commitment to sustainability and repurposing of materials, right up to the social good that they do locally and globally. I am in awe of them and had to write about all the wonderful things they're doing as it's too good not to share!
Cycle Of Good is a fundraising initiative that channels all profits into the Krizevac Project, which is a UK charity working to transform communities in Africa through social enterprise. They send books, bikes, computers and sewing machines to Malawi where they are refurbished and used for training and to generate income for the community. As a country without a Welfare State if you are not able to work, you are not able to feed yourself and your family, which is why the Krizvac Project focusses on providing skills, qualifications and equipment to increase employability and create lasting change.
They also have a whole wonderful range of accessories and bags that have been made from reclaimed and recycled materials. This includes panniers made from old lorry curtains, belts made from bike inner tubes and bags made from coffee sacks. They're unique, sustainable and made in Malawi, Africa by local tailors and designers. They all earn above the national living wage and have gained a recognized diploma through their work with Cycle of Good. Once they've finished their training they also keep their donated sewing machine.
We have just started stocking their lovely backpacks which are made from organic cotton canvas and recycled inner tubes like the one pictured above!
Our bike also has a twin in Malawi. The Krizevac Project were originally gifted 20,000 bikes by Royal Mail but they chose to only refurbish a limited number of them for sale through Cycle of Good, primarily to raise funds to ship bikes, books and sewing machines to Africa. For each Elephant Bike that is sold here, a second bike is shipped to a workshop in Malawi where it is refurbished and sold to the local community. The funds raised from the sale of those bikes goes towards the children's center, which provides care for families and early years children in the town.
Access to a bike can be life-changing to a family in Malawi. It is not just transportation, it can also provide secure income and employment. It has been shown that owning a bike can increase the income of a family by up to 35% and is a sustainable way of helping alleviate poverty.
Commitment to our planet:
It is no surprise that an organization with such a commitment to recycled and reclaimed materials would also be committed to sustainability across all their practices here in the UK and abroad.
The Malawian workshops where their lovely sustainable products are made, have been built using soil eco-blocks and are all powered by the sun, they also work with the Chilomoni forestry service to plant trees on their local mountain. As well as making their products from recycled materials, all the off-cuts of inner-tubes and lorry curtains are made into soft furniture for use by local schools. They ship by sea in shared container space rather than using air miles, and their packaging is all plastic free.
I have also become a collection point for used inner tubes, which I'll be sending to Cycle of Good for them to make their products from. If you have old inner tubes, please do drop them to me at the shop. They are happy to take any size and even like to have ones with patches on as they're interesting and unique. More details on inner tube recycling can be found here.
Needless to say, I'm completely in love with our bike. If you see me cycling around town, please do give me a wave!