I've always loved the idea of the bicycle wine rack; it allows people to live a car-free life and still have fun. Since the conception of the original design, I've played around with many different materials trying to find something recycled that would produce an equally elegant result. When it finally came to me, I couldn't get over it... recycled bike tires! A bicycle accessory made of recycled bicycle parts makes me smile.
I'm often contacted by vegan fans who love the wine rack design but where looking for something not made out of leather. So, this one goes out to all the vegans out there.
We've been so used to making leather wine racks that producing the vegan wine rack presented some interesting challenges. We're pretty DIY around here, so naturally we thought we could just bike around to bike shops and pick up their old tires. Little did we realize that this wasn't so efficient, and we got really dirty. With some luck we found a local recycling initiative called Consortium Écho-Logique with a truck-full ready to go... amazing!
The manufacturing process wasn't as simple as we thought either. Even as avid cyclists, we had no idea that bike tires have a spring steel rim, which is impossible to cut by hand. We bought a chop saw and sliced off the metal rims with a leather strap cutter. Next, we had to ensure that all the threads matched so each one was made one at a time. Fun fact: each tire produced two wine racks. They are two of a kind!
Experimenting with new materials is such a learning experience. Using recycled bike tires really challenged the design process I had established for the wine rack, and required a new level of resourcefulness and problem-solving. Its my goal as a designer to incorporate function, form and sustainability into my projects, and the recycled wine rack is first of many new innovations that successfully embodies my design and life philosophies. I can't wait to show you all what else I've been working on!