Created through a partnership between Vélosophy and Nespresso, the RE:CYCLE is a bicycle that’s made entirely from recycled coffee capsules.
“The RE:CYCLE showcases the creative possibilities for the afterlife for the billions of single-use coffee capsules discarded around the world every year,” says Vélosophy.
The RE:CYCLE is the brainchild of Jimmy Östholm, a former IKEA communications manager turned bike entrepreneur. Intrigued by Nespresso’s recycling campaigns, Östholm inquired about the possibility of obtaining some of its recycled aluminum. The greatest technical challenge, Östholm says, was finding a way to convert the lightweight aluminum into a material rigid enough to meet bicycle manufacturing safety standards. “It was not rocket science in any sense. It just took some time,” he explains.
The bike has a few design queues that hint at its origin. For instance, the frame’s plum color echoes the packaging of Nespresso’s popular Arpeggio blend, while its bell is in the shape of a coffee pod, along with a carrier basket has two nifty straps for securing to-go coffee cups, to name a few things.
Östholm hopes other product designers might be inspired to work with recycled aluminum to offset the steady demand for single-use capsules.
“Different products need different aluminum compositions…but just look at the recycling possibility,” he says. “Every bit of aluminum that exists could be recycled again into new products. I think that’s really the message here.”
Vélosophy is the only bicycle brand in the world with a full one-for-one promise, wherein for every bike they sell or rent out, another is given to a schoolgirl in Africa to improve her access to education through World Bicycle Relief organization.
Nespresso aluminium capsules are fully recyclable, including the coffee grounds. Nespresso opened its first recycling scheme in Switzerland in 1991 and invests some CHF 40 million a year in the program.
Today the scheme is available in more than 53 countries and gives coffee-lovers a range of options for convenient recycling of their used capsules, from a network of more than 100,000 drop-off points to door-step collections and mail-back schemes.
Jean-Marc Duvoisin, CEO of Nespresso, said, “through our collaboration with Vélosophy, we’re illustrating to coffee lovers the potential of recycling their aluminum Nespresso capsules. By using recycled capsules to make beautiful bicycles, Vélosophy brings sustainability and style together to create a truly meaningful experience, bringing to life the importance of recycling.”
“We have been inspired by working with Vélosophy, and I hope the RE:CYCLE bicycle inspires people to recycle,” he added.
The RE:CYCLE sells for $1,446 (€1,290 ) and is limited to 1,000 bikes. To cut down on operations costs, Vélosophy has no retail shops or show rooms and conducts all its sales online.
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