New bicycle parts from old fishing nets

From bicycle handlebar grips made from old fishing nets to cellulose components and the use of bio-based plastics; bicycle parts manufacturer Herrmans in Pedersöre has several exciting projects in the pipeline.

Cyclists are consumers who know exactly what they want, and they place a high value on sustainability. The cycling culture is very environment-oriented, which makes demands on manufacturers. Herrmans, is among other things, testing the use of bio-based plastics and materials derived from old fishing nets and car tyres.

– There are many exciting developments in the use of new materials, and it is important to stay ahead of the curve, says Sari Noromies, Operational Excellence & Sustainability Developer.
She and her colleague, Charlotte Sandström, Marketing and Communications Manager, talk about two products that are manufactured using recycled materials: a chain guard and a spoke guard (the plastic disc on the rear wheel of a bike).
– Sourcing and testing potentially viable new materials are constant challenges, and a bit like a detective’s job. The plastic must have the right properties, be compatible with injection moulding machines, available in sufficient quantities, meet the requirements, and have the right price, says Sari Noromies.

Our aim is to operate with honesty and transparency

Herrmans’ is exploring the use of recycled and bio-based plastics. Uncovering and reviewing all the legislation applying to each material, and the true meaning of their labels requires time and effort. Consumers are happy to buy products made from recycled or bio-based materials, but often find it difficult to establish just how environmentally friendly a product really is.
– Our aim is to operate with honesty and transparency, and to tell our customers and partners about what we learn.
Herrmans has been working on reducing its carbon footprint for quite some time. Its strategy is based on the guiding principles of people, profit and planet, and the aim is to strike a balance between all three.
– Sustainability is not only about our responsibility to the environment, says Charlotte Sandström. It’s also about our employees’ well-being and our suppliers’ sustainability goals. It’s only by seeing ourselves as part of a whole that we can make changes for the better. Investing in sustainability is also a way to achieve growth, to secure our future here in Pedersöre.

Efforts are focused on scope three

Injection moulding machines are lined up in the company’s workshop. This is where the handlebar grips, reflectors, and other bicycle parts are manufactured on an assembly line. Herrmans’ scope one and two carbon emissions are already at the lowest possible levels, and efforts are being made to reduce its scope three emissions (i.e., indirect emissions that occur in its value chain). Charlotte Sandström indicates a machine that forms regular plastic chain guards. Then she picks up a chain guard that, at first glance, looks the same as the others but couldn’t be more different.
– This one is made from 100 percent recycled material, she says.
Today, ten percent of Herrman’s products are made from recycled material, and the company’s goal is ambitious – by 2035 at the latest, all manufacturing and all products is to be carbon neutral.

Herrmans – About us

Have you ever thought about how many parts a bicycle is made up of? At Herrmans, we know each and every part. We are one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of bike components with a product range that extends to over 2,000 products, including lights and handlebar grips, and focuses on safety, comfort, and design. Herrmans’ success lies in its 60 years of developmental work, which is continuing. Our factory and head office are in Sandsund, Pedersöre.

Read our other Sustainability stories

This series of articles have been produced within the CIT-project (Circular Insights and Transition) which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund, The Council of Ostrobothnia together with all Development companies in Ostrobothnia.