What started as a small operation to rescue blown bike inner tubes from the landfill has bloomed into a a company that upcycles all kinds of gear into bags and accessories.
Green Guru is all about taking materials that are landfill-bound and finding ways to upcycle them into durable products for active peeps. They make bags from bike inner tubes, laptop sleeves from old wetsuits, and even turn old advertising banners into usable products. The folks at Green Guru were kind enough to answer a few of our questions about what they do and why the do it. Check it!
greenUPGRADER: Can you tell me a little bit about the company founders and how Green Guru got started?
Green Guru: The company founder, Davidson Lewis, grew up working in bike shops, and his first job was fixing flat tires all day. At the end of each day he had to take all the tubes out to the trash where it struck him how much waste there was from the bicycle industry. He tried to rescue as many tubes as he could to patch and reuse or to use for other things like tie downs and rubber bands, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with all the tubes that were destined for the landfill.
Being the son of artists that were also stewards of the environment, Davidson decided to take a creative angle to solving this problem. After graduating with a product design degree, he developed a line of bags and accessories that was able to use these discarded materials. Over time other gear waste materials were added to the upcycling mix. Now we upcycle bike tubes, wetsuits, climbing ropes, banners, tents, garments and more into eco-friendly gear that promotes environmental stewardship.
gUP: Why bike inner tubes?
GG: We have a passion for the outdoors and love our outdoor sports. The avid bicyclist can go through 2-3 or more bike inner tubes a year, and because the cost of getting a new tube is similar to taking the time to patch an old one many people will opt for a new reliable tube. We don't want the eco-friendly sport that we love to add all of this waste to our world so we are diverting this waste and turning it into a durable solution.
gUP: Can you tell me a little bit about how you source your materials?
GG: We partner with bike shops and set up a collection site right there in their shop so when someone comes in to buy a new tube they can toss their old one to us for reuse. We also partner with large manufacturing companies to take unusable tubes, and small personal donations as well.
gUP: Where do you manufacture your products?
GG: Boulder, CO, USA.
gUP: What really stands out to me about your gear is that not only do you repurpose your materials but you deliberately create a durable product. Can you speak about why durability is important to you?
GG: Being green or sustainable is not only about recycling it also includes using products that are going to last, this cuts down on waste. Our products are built to be durable, many have water resistant qualities, and we believe they are tough enough for everyday bumping around for years.