CYCLING is all about style, so even when off a bike - maybe sitting at a cafe debating the Tour de France - fashionable cyclists should get to know Craig Northam and his Buck!t Belts.
Cycling is not simply a sport or passion for ex-London architect Northam – it’s a lifestyle.
“I don’t drive a car, I don’t have a car license, I go everywhere by bicycle,” says the Adelaide, South Australia resident who prides himself on being environmentally aware and green.
“I love the fact that I am powering myself around, I like to be fit, that’s an essential, but I like the idea of being in control of my motion and movement. I like the engaging quality of cycling.”
Northam working in his Tusmore workshop.
Combining his passion for recycling and bicycling was an obvious fit for Northam. He'd pursued making the belts as a hobby for sometime, but after falling ill in 2013 he decided to take to it as his profession.
His belts are unisex and made from recycled racing tyres, each hand-crafted and individual, and available in a range of colours limited only by the design of the performance tyres.
“When a friend who worked with the RadioShack Leopard Trek team posted a picture of his Buck!t belt on Twitter I started to receive orders from all over the world,” Northam says.
Putting the belts together is an involved process - Northam is a craftsman.
Orders have since been received from Canada, USA, Japan and all over Europe. Ben Hermans, Belgian professional road racing cyclist, is also a fan.
The business took off on the back of the trendiness of fixed-speed bikes and living green.
“If people start buying things because they’re cool and green as well, that’s great,” he says.
Northam has a network of bike shops across Adelaide to supply him with used tyres and tubulars, which he then cleans and fashions into a belt.
He says these “handmade, up-cycled and unique belts” are an expression of his personality and his will to live a ‘small-footprint’ lifestyle. “I take pride in producing something that is unique, individual, and can not be mass produced,” he says.
Bicycle tyres generally go to landfill because to recycle them is almost impossible since they contain fabric and small amounts of rubber.
Craig regularly experiments and adds new products to the Buck!t range, such as this run of earrings.
Northam has expanded his range to include unisex wristbands and earrings, made from carbon fibre frames, parts of chains, and parts that hold the cogs onto the back wheel. He calls it ‘sustainability you can wear’.
Buck!t belts and accessories can be purchased online at Mr. Northam’s Co2 neutral website www.buckitbelts.com or at various stockists throughout Australia.