COP26 Blog: Everything you need to know about implementing the circular economy in your cycling business

What COP26 is teaching us about keeping materials in the loop to help the planet 

At Cycletrade, we are proud that our city is hosting COP26, possibly the most critical climate conference to date.

This gave us a chance to take part in some of the events around the summit, gaining an exclusive insight into what various industries are doing to go greener.

While we have spent years studying the circular economy, we feel COP26 has shone a spotlight on this model for the first time as one of the actions businesses can take to become more sustainable.

In our first blog post of this COP26 series, we discussed how cycling can be made even greener by buying and selling second hand.

In the second step of our sustainability journey, we want to share more of what we learned about the circular economy. 

How do we bring the circular economy into Cycletrade?

Cycletrade is proof that the circular economy is commercially viable. 

For decades, the cycling industry has been heavily reliant on new components and materials, involving mining of resources and waste production.

As the industry acknowledges the need for more environmentally friendly practices, it’s a great time to look into circular models.

As you probably know, at Cycletrade, we buy, sell, and part-exchange your surplus bike parts. 

We work predominantly with the public to offer a hassle-free purchase of surplus bicycles and components, which we refurbish and resell on our e-commerce website.

But we also work with retailers and insurance companies to re-sell their returns and overstock.

Here are our tips on how to implement the circular economy in your cycling business. 

Making spare parts more affordable

Affordable spare parts will incentivise shops and resellers to repair instead of replacing, pro-longing the life cycle of bike parts, which is the core principle of the circular economy.

Single components like jockey wheels, springs, cages, shifters, and chainrings can be more expensive than a brand new full part. 

Making these items cheaper and more readily available would encourage “repair and reuse”, with a saving for the seller while providing the buyer with a fully functional part.

Offering warranty on second-hand items

Nothing discourages customers from buying second-hand like the lack of assurance that the product will work as intended, especially when it comes to complex, expensive items that are purchased for long-term use, like bikes. 

Still, second-hand bikes or components, often come with no warranty, as these will be bought from a private seller. 

Cycletrade has stepped in to offer a warranty for all our parts, because we know things can go wrong. 

Over the years, we have found that offering a warranty with all our items has given our customers confidence when buying second hand.

We strongly believe providing this service is vital if we want to encourage a “reuse-recycle-reduce” model.

Bringing the Part-Exchange

Part-exchange scheme have always been a bit of a taboo in the cycling world, but there is so much potential for this model, when it comes to both full bikes and components. 

Although it is another powerful way to extend product life, the trouble with part-exchanging is - you guessed it - having to resell the exchanged part.

At Cycletrade, we partner with a variety of shops to enable quick offers, making our part-exchange scheme smoother. 

Empowering knowledgeable bike resellers

Bike resellers are key to providing bike origin and refurbishments assurance, while being very entrepreneurial at the same time. 

During the pandemic, bike resale has grown hugely, with unprecedented numbers of resellers popping up across the UK. 

We know many resellers who have turned this from a weekend side-earner into a successful full-time business, so why not give it a go?

Returns and warranty re-circulation

“Spillage” and “reducing loss” are just some of the buzzwords when it comes to managing returns for cycling companies. 

But what if we told you you could guarantee the re-use of these items instead, while offsetting your carbon emissions with tangible data?

If your returns or surplus parts are sitting idle, a partnership with Cycletrade may be the perfect way to turn this around, making a profit with a benefit for the environment.

We can manage the re-sale of these items, taking the hassle away so that you can focus on your core business.

If you are a bike retailer or insurance company interested in working with us, or are simply curious about how to implement the circular economy into your business, pop into our shop in Glasgow or visit our website. 

We’ll be happy to help you help us make the circular economy the future of cycling!