Dutch duo peddle old bikes as fashion, furniture

DELFT, Netherlands: Two Dutch business owners have located a novel way to make money out of the thousands of bicycles abandoned in the Netherlands every calendar year, by turning them into designer style merchandise and furnishings.

Industrial design and style university student Lodewijk Bosman, 25, and Hidde van der Straaten, 28, launched ‘The Upcycle’ in university city Delft in January 2012 to exploit a generally Dutch problem. 

The Netherlands has more bikes — 18 million — than its 17 million population, and around a million new bikes are bought each and every 12 months. But with so a lot of bikes arrive parking complications, and if they are left in the improper place, or simply deserted, the authorities select them up and choose them to the pound.

This happens to tens of countless numbers of bikes a year, and even though homeowners can get their bikes again by spending a fine of around ¤20 ($25), couple of do. Unclaimed bikes are sold to bicycle stores that sell them on 2nd-hand, both in the Netherlands or overseas.

Lodewijk and Hidde also invest in the abandoned bikes and sections, but with something diverse in head. Consider for instance an Upcycle bedside lamp for ¤88. It consists of a bicycle light-weight with a new LED bulb fitted to a stem made of a several chain back links and intertwined spokes — all standing on a picket foundation wrapped in plaited internal tubes.

Other items involve a bracelet created from bike chain backlinks for ¤10, a belt produced from a tyre with a buckle equipped prices ¤30. 

The Dutch duo has also occur up with a darkish and rubbery cubic stool made from squander wood covered in plaited interior tubes.

The title of their firm, set up right after successful a ¤10,000 prize for their impressive notion, is a pun on bicycle and upcycling, a method one particular step over and above recycling that consists of turning a little something to be thrown absent into some thing of larger really worth. The company commenced providing products as a result of their web page in February and speedily attracted customers all over the environment. “I’d say 50 percent our buyers are in the Netherlands, the other fifty percent abroad,” reported Hidde.

They hope to strike distribution bargains with stores, like the Netherlands’ many souvenir boutiques. “The bicycle is some thing commonly Dutch, so why not turn them into souvenirs?” he stated.

“The offer is pretty much by no means ending since the Netherlands is ‘The’ place for bicycles,” said Lodewijk, his trousers held up by a belt produced from a slashed bicycle tyre.

His small business husband or wife exhibits off a wallet produced from a piece of aged bicycle saddle and a modest piece of tyre. “We test to use bicycle sections as much as we can, but which is not always achievable, like with the belt’s buckle or the lamp’s switch,” reported Hidde

The Upcycle also sells renovated bikes, made from recovered frames with new sections added in which required, which includes Upcycle touches this kind of as mudguards manufactured from slice-up tyres.

The organization performs with the “Stunt” foundation, that can help retrain the unemployed for new employment, providing the small business a social part.

Lodewijk says that his motto is “People, World, Profit” — also identified as “the triple base line”. Orders are buying up, and the enterprise has but to start making income, but when dollars does appear in, half will go to Stunt.