Cycling is often at the centre of sustainable travel initiatives, with the effects of rising carbon emissions and climate change becoming increasingly worrying every day. But how green is the trade itself? BikeBiz speaks to six brands to find out what they’re doing to be more environmentally friendly. Today, we hear from LeAnna Galyk, VAAST Bikes
What is your take on the current state of sustainability in the cycling industry?
As a brand, we believe sustainability is incredibly important. It’s amazing to see bigger brands following our lead in removing plastic from their packaging and we are encouraged by how receptive consumers have been to our more sustainable materials and approaches. But we can all do more. Bikes are amazing, but if we don’t do a better job of taking care of our planet, where are we going to ride them?
What strategies do you have in place regarding sustainability?
We were the first brand to use 100% fiber-based plastic-free packaging, our frames are made from magnesium, obviously, which is a more sustainable material than other metals and a much more sustainable option than carbon. It takes 40% less energy to produce a magnesium frame and it is fully recyclable.
What more can the industry be doing to be more environmentally friendly, and why is this important?
Carbon offsets and better recycling programmes are on the horizon for us. Also, better resale markets and repair options are going to be critical. The market explosion means there are so many new bikes out on roads and trails, and enabling cycling communities to keep them on the road and not in landfills is going to be important.
How concerned do you think customers are about making environmental purchases?
We know consumers are concerned about sustainability. They tell us so. When we ask what drew them to VAAST one of the first things they tell us is that they appreciate how vocal we are about sustainability. It’s very encouraging that something that is so important to us is also important to the community of riders we’re building.