Sustainability pulls design in multiple directions at once, and so watching and evaluating the approach taken by various brands and manufacturers, how they balance often-conflicting goals, is always an interesting exercise.
Exhibit A for today: POC’s new Myelin helmet, which is the first (that we’re aware of) to include in its design and engineering brief the ability to be deconstructed at the end of its useable life. Each of those constituent parts can then be recycled without a specialist recycling facility, according to POC. No more helmets in the bin.
One of the primary issues in attempting to recycle many modern goods, bike helmets included, is that they’re made of all sorts of different materials, some of which may be recyclable, some of which are not. Often the adhesives used to make whatever material they’re applied to unrecyclable. That destines the whole unit for the trash bin. It’s certainly where every helmet I’ve ever owned has landed.
The Myelin helmet is designed using 50% recycled materials, which is a good place to start. The shell is woven recycled fabric, the straps are recycled polyester, and the pads are recycled polyester. An EPS liner, as used in most helmets, provides the actual protection against impact.
The Myelin also forgoes adhesives entirely, using cleverly placed fasteners to hold the whole thing together. That means it can be pulled apart and the recyclable bits can be recycled.
POC describes the new helmet as “an important step forward, but there is a lot to continue to do,” which is an appreciated dose of humility. The company has a lofty goal: the “highest level of safety and protection whilst looking to minimize as much of the negative impact as possible.”
Beyond the sustainability claims, the Myelin looks like an interesting addition to the urban/commuter helmet space. The design is sleek, and the recyclability goals led to some interesting solutions, like the use of a small snap and elastic instead of a plastic buckle. The design apparently allows for a snug fit without any buckling or unbuckling, it just slides right on.
For more info head over to Poc.com.
- 50% of the materials used in the Myelin are recycled.
- Cap: Recycled Polyester
- Bottom ring: Recycled Nylon
- Straps: Recycled Polyester
- Pads: Recycled Polyester
Price: 100 EUR / 100 GBP / 100 USD / 120 CAD
Weight: 340 grams (claimed)