Handcrafted from sustainably sourced bamboo, a new brand of bike has recently been launched in Australia and it is available globally. These bikes are not only sustainable, they are also light, strong and produced in a way that is changing lives.
The WYLD – What You Love Doing – bikes are the brainchild of co-founders Simon Doble and Natalie Simmons in cooperation with the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative (GBBI).
“Wyld Bikes had been brewing for a while and came from a meeting co-founder Simon Doble had a number of years ago at a UN Conference. He met Bernice – the founder and CEO of GBBI, the social enterprise we are working with in Ghana – and discussed the idea for a while about how to bring these amazing frames to the world,” explains Ms Simmons.
“The creation of each Wyld Bike helps to lift women in Ghana out of poverty, supports career pathways for disadvantaged Australian young people and helps stop the erosion of fertile land in West Africa,” says Ms Simmons.
“I think transparency is critical today for business. While we all want to do good and create a positive impact, we need to ensure that if something is not as impactful as we want for it to be – we talk about the journey we are taking to get to the impact point,” explains Ms Simmons.
“There are elements in all businesses which will take slightly longer to achieve the desired impact levels and as long as we are transparent about these I think businesses can be seen as ethical brands.”
Being an ‘ethical brand’ is important for the founders of Wyld Bikes. The combination of a difficult few years due to the pandemic, and more people becoming interested in living sustainability and shopping more consciously, however, has come together in a happy outcome for the brand.
“The events of the past two years have made it clear we need to change how we live and start making a more positive impact on the world. We have seen people turning to cycling like never before; to change their habits, to become healthier, to reduce their carbon footprint, to become happier,” Ms Simmons says.
“We all know that cycling is good for your health and reduces your carbon footprint if you are riding instead of driving a car, but with a sustainable bamboo Wyld bike you are actually creating a positive impact on people and the planet,” Ms Simmons said.
Every Wyld bike is handmade in Ghana using locally sourced bamboo by the GBBI enabling women in the community to gain steady employment and training. The bike parts are assembled in Australia by a number of social enterprises that also provide training, employment and careers for disadvantaged and unemployed youth.
On top of the community aspect, Wyld Bikes also plants 10 bamboo seedlings for every bike frame made. “We do this, not for re-harvesting purposes but rather to help stop the erosion of fertile land in West Africa which is a key factor to the eradication of local food supply and income source,” Ms Simmons explains. Wyld Bikes uses carbon offsets to deal with the shipping and delivery of its products.
“We believe that every part of our supply chain needs to create a positive impact otherwise we do not do it. So, while we grow [as a business] we will invest in our partners and assist them in streamlining their manufacturing process so they can grow with us and in turn employ more people creating further impact,” says Ms Simmons.
The impact of the pandemic on international business can’t be ignored, and Ms Simmons says that Wyld Bikes was not immune: “There have definitely been some challenges – mainly across the issue of component supply being felt across the cycling world at the moment.”
“However, to this point we have been fortunate that our launch has gone ahead as planned. We do believe there will still be some hurdles to cross however around supply, shipping and costs in these areas as the world starts to catch up with the backlog of the pandemic.”
However don’t panic if you want to get your hands on a Wyld bike, they are available right now and can be shipped to Asia.
There are two different bike frames – the Archi men’s frame, and the Luca women’s frame – and both are available with white, black or tan trims and in two sizes. All the bikes are available in 9, 10 or 11 speed. Costs range from AUD2,000 for a 9 speed, up to AUD2,100 for an 11 speed, plus shipping. Early in 2022 there will also be a BMX bamboo bike available too.
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