Planet Bike is a manufacturer of various bike bits and components. They are also an active bike advocacy group and promote more than just better bits. Their tagline is “better bicycle products for a better world” and when you dig below the surface you can see this is not marketing hype as much as it is a declaration, or mission statement. From their history:
In November of 1996, Planet Bike was founded in Madison, Wisconsin. In many ways, Planet Bike began as a social experiment that dedicated itself to doing business in a different way. Instead of being just another company that develops and sells products with profit as its end goal, Planet Bike wanted to help bring about positive change for people, their communities, and the environment.
So it’s profits and positive change? Nice.
But the real reason I am posting about them is I love their banner photos, especially this one:Maybe I’m just a grumpy old man but as far as the sex appeal goes, a photo like that one is infinitely more appealing to me than the silly photos of women wearing a bikini/thong posed on a bike that we see plastered all over the internet; but yeah, we’ll admit we like skirts. Don’t get me wrong, bikini girls have a place in art and advertising – with machine guns, of course.
And hint: pedaling while wearing flats and carrying the pumps in the basket might be a more sensible approach to cycling. You can change to the fancier shoes when you arrive at your destination and you don’t risk breaking an ankle getting there.
Back to Planet Bike, when you read from their manifesto page you might find yourself wanting to sign on:
Just as we are conscious of the way cycling affects people and the environment, we are also aware of the impact that our products have on them. We”re sensitive to the lifecycle of our products. We pay keen attention to everything from ensuring a fair wage for factory workers, designing products to be both durable and fixable, minimizing packaging and using recyclable materials whenever, wherever we can.
Gandhi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” To be that change we feel that we need to do more than just create products that make it easier for people to bike. That’s why we donate 25% of our profits to causes that promote bicycle use. We want to take part in a transportation revolution and hopefully inspire other companies and individuals to join us.
So let’s all ride our bikes and take care of ourselves and the planet we live on a little better. That’s really what we’re all about.
I don’t know of many companies who make contributing to anything other than their own bottom line much of a priority. So cheers to Planet Bike for being socially conscious and understanding corporate responsibility.
I’m a sucker for good photography and companies who are honestly trying to do good things, so this is one that I’d like to support. I’m drilling into their inventory now to see what I might ask Santa to bring me. He still owes me from all that coal I got last year.
ps: Plant Bike has a blog too.