British designer Stella McCartney and U.S. bike giant Cannondale have partnered on a limited-edition bike collection.
Displayed across the sustainable designer’s shops in Shanghai, Tokyo, London, and New York, the 18 bikes were designed by three artists who worked on McCartney’s most recent collection: London’s Ed Curtis, New York’s Myfawnwy (Maisie Broome), and Antwerp’s Tom Tosseyn.
McCartney—an avid cyclist, vegan, and environmentalist—says she was driven to the partnership through her love for two wheels and the planet.
“As a lifelong cyclist and someone who rides their bicycle every day to work, I could not be more excited for my new shared journey with Cannondale,” the designer said. “The bikes we have created embody our common values and vision,” McCartney said, “blending beauty and desirability with a sense of responsibility to the next generation.”
Cannondale says the collaboration represents a mutual commitment to sustainability. The brand says the collection is an “homage from one innovative brand to another.”
Consumers will not be able to purchase the bikes—Cannondale’s SystemSix, SuperSix EVO, and SuperSix EVO CX. Instead, the brands say there will be chances to win one of the 18 bikes after they’re off display on November 17th.
McCartney’s sustainability commitments
McCartney’s sustainability initiatives are widespread and built into the brand’s ethos since day 1—more than 20 years ago; the brand works with upcyled and bio-based materials, including innovative leather made from mushrooms. (See Timothée Chalamet decked out in McCartney’s mushroom suit here.)
Last year while in covid lockdown, she released her “A to Z Sustainability Manifesto.”
“During our global moment of pause, I found myself asking bigger questions about what I do and why I do it. How can we all come back to the world more mindful, more conscious?” she asked.
The designer collaborated with 26 artists—one for each letter of the alphabet. The artists were asked to pick a letter and interpret it visually.
“Our sustainable vision is guided by and accountable to our bold values—making every action count, inspiring trust and celebrating life,” reads the Stella McCartney website. “We are change agents; we are activists. We stand up and speak up for Mother Earth, our fellow animals, and in solidarity with all humans.”
Cannondale’s sustainability commitments
Biking took an uptick during the pandemic as people sought out outdoor fitness activities. Bike shops were sold out across the country. Cannondale said it saw cycling grow “in unexpected ways” during the pandemic “as people rediscover the joy of a bike ride.”
“Cycling is one of the most moving sports on the planet—its professional riders travel the globe and race in truly breathtaking settings, bridging cities and villages with impressive feats of endurance and skill,” reads the brand’s website. “For the everyday rider, cycling offers independence and freedom to explore, to refresh, or simply as a healthy, sustainable mode of transportation.”
To that, Cannondale has also been increasing its sustainability efforts.
Last year it introduced its first fully recyclable and plastic-free packaging for shipping bikes and parts. The move reduced Cannondale’s landfill contributions by 4,500 cubic meters—about a million gallons. It’s a big shift for the brand; previously one bike was typically shipped in more than 15 liters (about four gallons) of non-recyclable materials per bike.
Not just a more sustainable option—the new bike packaging also protects the bikes better during transit. This has downstream sustainability impacts as it reduces damage in shipping, thus reducing returns.
Cannondale’s mobile bike tracking app also aggregates environmental data based on the equivalent of CO2 emissions an average combustion engine vehicle would produce over the same distance biked. (For cars, Google will now help you take the most sustainable route via its Maps app.)
Adding to its commitments, Cannondale is also working to help introduce the BIPOC community to cycling in a larger way through two co-ed collegiate and university programs. Alongside EF Pro Cycling and USA Cycling, Cannondale helped to launch cycling teams at historically Black and Tribal colleges and universities. The company says it will broaden its scope to offer other initiatives to promote the benefits of cycling, foster inclusivity, community, and adventure.
“As the dialogue about racial equality came to a head in the U.S., we listened, we learned, and we looked for ways we could make a lasting impact and provide to access the sport of cycling to young Black and Indigenous people,” Dennis Kim, Vice President of Marketing for Cycling Sports Group, said in a statement last year. “It was important to Cannondale and EF that this was a multi-year commitment to work with these schools to help grow participation.”