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From the Bike Shop bin, to a Fashion Exhibition

Fashion Exhibition from recycled clothing

How recycling has brought two, very different, local businesses together.

The cycling industry has made big changes over the past couple of years to reduce its carbon footprint and make it more environmentally friendly. The biggest changes have been in how bikes are packaged – what materials are used and how easily these can be recycled. As a Trek Partner Store, we were delighted when Trek joined the Responsible Packaging Movement and vowed that “All Trek facilities will become zero-landfill, our bike boxes will eliminate all plastics and consumer-facing packaging will be single-use plastic-free by 2024”. But what about the bike parts themselves? There are an increasing number of brilliant charities like Recyke-a-Bike who take old bikes and bike parts and re-use them to build or re-vamp bikes. In terms of your local bike shop though, what can they do to reduce their reliance on landfill?

Here at Roots Cycles, this is something we’re trying hard to address. The recent changes in bike packaging have been positive and means that most, if not all, packaging can be recycled. Not all our cardboard goes to the recycling bin though, re-use is a great way to make materials efficient and friendly to the environment and arguably uses less energy than recycling. We’ve made friends with local gardening and allotment enthusiasts who use our bike boxes to make paths through the mud, suppress weeds, mulch, or to grow seedlings on. Cardboard is great for your garden – as it decomposes it adds organic matter to your soil which increases the nutrients and helps with drainage. Worms and other critters are drawn to the shelter of the cardboard, increasing the biodiversity in your garden, and providing natural fertilisation. Boxes aren’t just great for gardeners; some customers have used them for house moves or just as a treat for the kids – what’s better than a huge cardboard box to play in?

Cardboard is perhaps the easiest waste product to re-use or recycle, but what about the dirty stuff, the stuff that’s not recyclable? Well, we’ve done a few things – collected inner tubes for Cycle of Good, given old wheels to florists, tyres to a local primary school – but recently, after a chance conversation between Mrs Roots and her Hairdresser, Carina Rose Hair and Beauty, our (or more accurately your) old, punctured inner tubes have found their way into high fashion. Carina (Carina Rose Designs) is undertaking a Masters Degree in Fashion Design at Heriot Watt University and was recently asked to submit a piece for the Metamorphosis exhibition in Galashiels. The exhibition looks at how waste materials can be recycled by the fashion industry and turned into items of clothing. So, what would a fashion designer do with an inner tube? Well, lots of things is the answer. From bags to basques, inner tubes are a great material – stretchy, soft and durable. Carina has utilised the inner tubes to create a unique technique in boning items of clothing and is using a traditional, hand crank sewing machine to stitch the tubes to material. By reusing discarded materials in her designs, she “connects the past to the present and extends the story of the original materials. Like a stitch in time, the inner tubes tell a story within themselves, I help give them a new story by designing in an innovative way and creating garments which give the old items a new future”.

Inner tubes may be just the beginning of Roots’ foray into fashion. Carina has her eyes on old chain links and cassette rings for a future project. We’re delighted that we’ve found a fellow business in Doune that can give new life to items we’d otherwise put in our bin. Together, it means that we’re reducing our environmental impact and contributing to other businesses.

The Metamorphosis exhibition runs until 28th March, so why not pay a visit, and see if you can spot your punctured inner tube now sitting proudly in a one-off fashion design by an upcoming Scottish designer. #recycling #sustainablefashion #localbusiness #responsiblepackagingmovement #Trekbikes #protectourworld #circulareconomy

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