Our creations give new purpose to discarded bike tubes and other parts. Curious about where they've been on their way to you?
Our process starts at the local bike shop, where we pick up discarded tubes, tires, gears, and chains. Tubes are cheap and time is not, so shops will replace flats with new tubes, rather than patching them. Busy bike shops can go through dozens, if not hundreds, of bike tubes in a day.
At this stage, we'll leave behind any tubes that are too old, punctured, or dirty. The rest travel up to our studio in bike buckets, or in a bike trailer if there's a large load.
Next, we check them through for holes and cut valves out to open them for cleaning. Bike tubes have fine calcium carbonate powder inside, to keep the rubber sides from sticking together, plus dirt and grime from their life on the wheel. A few rounds in the wash and they emerge slick and shiny, ready for cutting!
Finally, we trace pattern shapes with silver pens, cut, and assemble the pieces on a walking foot industrial sewing machine.
At the end of production, all our rubber off-cuts are brought to a rubber recycling collection to be used in industrial applications. That way, nothing gets wasted!
In Montreal, we are fortunate to have a rubber recycling program, run by Echologique and financed by the government of Quebec. Waste rubber collected by this organisation is ground down into granules and used in various industrial applications. Most cities do not have the benefit of initiatives such as this one, and as a result, many bike shops have no option but to send their old tubes to the landfill.
Many thanks to our recycling partners:
Les Bicycletteries J.R
Right to Move/ La Voie Libre