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Bow ties from bicycle tubes - an innovative way to reduce waste

Photographs: iStock

Text: Jakob Weizman

Rewind to the beginning of 2020, Antoine Delaire brought his flat bicycle tire into a bike repair shop in Copenhagen, which sparked the inspiration he needed to start his SEFOELI project. Sefoeli Selvfølgelig - which means ‘of course’ in Danish). Instead of fixing the inner tube, the shop told him it would be cheaper to replace it instead.

This prompted Delaire to ask around other bike stores in the area how often they were changing these inner tubes, who told him on average 10-20 a week.

“Knowing that 9 out of 10 people in Denmark owns a bicycle, it made even more sense to do something about it, to find a solution to limit the impact that this leaves on our environment,” said Delaire, who hails from France but moved to Denmark 15 years ago.

Fashion and sustainability hand in hand

Brainstorming ideas to see how he could recycle these inner tubes and find a better use for them rather than polluting the environment, all lights shone on making bow ties. Delaire is also finding other ways to reuse them, such as key chains and belts.

“I always had a dream of making a product that would be as close to 100% environmentally friendly as possible, from the supply of diverse materials to packaging. Wearing a SEFOELI bow tie is therefore not only a good way to mark any occasion, and stand out from the crowd, but also a statement about making a positive impact on the environment,” said Delaire.

Delaire collects all the materials to produce the bow ties and delivers them to be made at Huset Venture, a socio-economic organisation dedicated to helping people with reduced work abilities.

“I only recently launched the bow ties and introduced these to several locals, bicycle retailers, and other retailers focusing on eco-friendly products, and the feedback has been very positive,” said Delaire.

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