Wednesday, October 7

Trendy Brooks

Vegan Leather Brooks Saddle on a Motobecane
Sometimes, it is surprising the things you hear from bicycle (and other) marketing types. Earlier this week, I heard of a new bike helmet that had a strap made from "vegan leather." Wow, just how environmentally responsible can a company get? The one that caught my attention is made by Thousand Helmets and was the result of a Kickstarter campaign.

Looking a little further, I discovered that Brooks was a pioneer in the field of vegan leather way back in the 70's with its saddles. Some of us, not knowing any better, castigated them as "PLASTIC."

As it turned out, Brooks was showing us the way.

On a more serious note, the new helmet does have one interesting feature - a hole intended to allow it to be locked directly to the bike via a U Lock. This is a feature sadly missing in mainstream helmets.


GreenComotion said...

Nice observation, Steve!
My Raleigh Twenty has a vegan Brooks saddle.

I have, being a vegetarian* and an animal lover, often wondered if I should throw away my Brooks and my shoe collection and buy comparable vegan leather items.
But, I can't justify the switch.
While I don't want to take down an animal, just for the leather, if companies use the leather from animals that are slaughtered to produce beef and other animal products, why waste the leather?
Just my 2 cents!
Peace :)

*Vegetarian - I eat dairy products and the egg in baked goods like cakes, pastries, etc.

cafiend said...

Herds of Naugas were slaughtered for their hides.

GreenComotion said...

Nice one Cafiend :)
Sure made Byron Hunter proud...

Steve A said...

According to Wikipedia, vegan leather redirects to "artificial leather" which includes Naugahyde. That page claims the slaughter of Naugas is an urban myth since they can shed their skins without harm to themselves. Apparently, Nauga dolls are still available today as at

Steve A said...

Chandra, keep in mind that even if nobody eats them, the animals will eventually die from natural causes. One thing I found odd was finding items of "vegan leather" trimmed with "natural fur."

John Romeo Alpha said...

Brooks cotton bonded to vegan vulcanized rubber is also comfortable. Oh, and the cotton is organic.

Justine Valinotti said...

Steve--I guess if something is "natural", then no animal was "really" killed (or skinned) for it.Or something like that.

Apropos the Nauga legend--Many, many years ago, I worked in a summer camp, One of the kids asked, "If beef comes from cows and pork comes from pigs, what does veal come from?" I answered with a story about wild, thundering herds of toidis on the faraway plains of llubtihs. Because those toidis are very, very diffficult to catch, and those plains are so, so far away, I explained, veal is expensive, so you shouldn't waste it.

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