Our impact on communities both local and global is supremely important to us. In fact, it is a founding value of our brand. Of course, we believe in spurring more bicycle use. That means bikes as tools for transportation, not just as weekend recreational toys. However, that's not all we do. We have broader responsibilities critical to improving the world around us. These responsibilities must be embodied in our operation and directive in our decisions. There are some basic practices that we think are common sense and obvious. These are efforts that must be pursued internally and in partnership with other members of our supply chain.
Avoid toxic materials
Encourage local economies
Treat people equitably
Think in "systems"
This perhaps seems simpler than it is, but the crux of it comes down to this: know what you are doing (directly and indirectly). We require all supply partners to sign a code of conduct agreement each year that helps ensure worker's rights and bans the use of restricted substances like lead and mercury. Ultimately the best partnerships are transparent and cooperative. Our goal is always to make product in the "right" way and ensure that it lasts a long time. Our Original Bells are the manifestation of this founding perspective.
Direct action is the best action
Frankly it's easy to greenwash complex topics with slick marketing and certification icons. Recycling and carbon offsets are bandaids at best, not solutions. The outdoor industry has taken steps in recent years to change culture. It's true that what's gets measured typically gets managed. Though climate neutrality is still a misnomer, the big picture is encouraging. Companies large and small are starting to measure and report.
Rather than writing checks for offsets, we prefer to get closer to the challenges we share and drive clear change through community action. Again, this goes back to basics. There are things like commuting by bike and avoiding air freight that we can encourage within our day to day. Then there are locally-based organizations that can help us (some right in our neighborhoods). We've been able to nearly eliminate part scrap by offering "Frankenbells" every year. More people with less means are able to get a bell that is guaranteed to last a lifetime and we're in turn able donate 20% of the proceeds to a collection non profits with a long history of effecting change.
BikeLA works to make all communities in LA County healthy, safe, and fun places to ride a bike through advocacy, education, and outreach.