TOOB turns bicycle inner tubes into handcrafted rubbery accessories

Interest, purchase, and use of bicycles have been on the rise in recent years, but these leg-powered, two-wheeled vehicles have been around for decades. Many of their issues have been around for just as long, including parts that wear out easily and then get thrown away. Although they are significantly more durable than cars or even motorcycles, bicycles have parts that are definitely not environmentally friendly. These range from bits of plastic here and there as well as toxic chemicals used to paint their metal frames. Rubber tires and inner tubes, however, are even bigger sources of road pollutants. Luckily, this line of accessories uses inner tubes in a different way, allowing them to go the distance even after they’ve served their original purpose.

Designer: Roy Sherizly (TOOB)

Bike tires are meant to last a long time, but eventually they run out, sometimes sooner than expected. They wear out over the years, of course, but accidents can render them completely unusable at some point. The same applies in particular to inner tubes, which can no longer be fully used when damaged. These rubber-based products are thrown away and are not biodegradable, so they end up breaking down into microplastics that pollute waters and even soil. That green, sustainable lifestyle you’ve chosen suddenly becomes less so because of those wasted inner tubes.

Fortunately, inner tubes should not be thrown away just because a small part has been damaged. They’re no longer usable for bicycle wheels, but that doesn’t mean they have to reach the end of their hardware life as well. More economical and efficient than recycling, the upcycling mentality has taken root among many designers, and this line of TOOB accessories demonstrates how even something as simple and unattractive as an inner tube can become a product. useful and even stylish.

“Useless” bicycle inner tubes are handpicked from local Tel Aviv stores, then inspected and thoroughly cleaned. Depending on the extent of the damage, the useful parts are cut off and then processed into completely different products. TOOB keychains, for example, only need a small part of the inner tube. In addition to the material’s natural durability, TOOB adds a solid button that makes it easy to open and close the key fob to look around belts and bags. The TOOB strap, on the other hand, requires a longer stretch of inner tube. The attachment takes advantage of the tube’s natural stretch properties to hold things to bike rails or other surfaces.

Inner tubes are the ideal material for this type of heavy-duty accessory, and their clean appearance and smooth surfaces make for an indescribable aesthetic. The key fob, for example, looks understated and its black color matches almost any jeans or bag. TOOB also supports the local bike economy by giving merchants a better way to dispose of their waste.

Inner tubes don’t last forever, however, and TOOB admits the material will eventually wear out and dry out. Again, almost everything ends up eventually, including materials like leather. Ideas like TOOB don’t completely remove synthetic rubber products like tires and inner tubes from the picture, but it does help delay their inevitable fate in landfills, at least until we can find alternatives. better and more durable.

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