David Maroko, pictured, founded Dada Cycles in 2017 with his wife, Rebecca
Photo: Dada Cycles
A French couple living in Luxembourg is reinventing sustainable cycling with plans to launch what could be the world’s most-sustainable bike helmet through a crowdfunding campaign in September.
Dada Cycles was founded by cycling enthusiasts David and Rebecca Maroko in 2017 after they struggled to find attractive, urban-style helmets to wear while cycling around the capital.
“We dug into it and found out that the bike market is directed towards sports cycling. For people who ride bikes in the city who want a comfortable helmet and quality design, the offer was quite poor,” David told Delano on Tuesday. Rather than seeing it as a problem, the pair, who first moved to Luxembourg in 2012 and both have a background in impact finance, saw an opportunity.
In 2017, David left his job at the EIB to work full-time on launching Dada Cycles as a simplified sarl with a social enterprise angle. Over the past two years, the husband and wife team have designed the first helmets, borrowing from the vintage feel of 1950s motor-racing drivers and Vespa chic.
Rebecca Maroko models one of the Dada Cycles helmets. Photo: Dada Cycles
They then drew on new innovations in sustainable materials to design and build prototypes of a helmet with a carbon footprint 70% less than that of the average helmet. “It’s the most-sustainable bike helmet on the market since we use recycled plastics and also sugar cane, turned into bioplastics, for the interior.
It’s 100% biosourced and biodegradable,” David explained. Furthermore, the straps are made from vegan leather, according to the Dada website and the helmets exceed the EU 1078 safety requirements.
Two years later and the husband and wife team hope to bring their idea to market by crowdfunding through the Kickstarter platform. Each person who donates to their campaign will receive a discount on the first helmets that will be manufactured. And that’s not all—David is in discussions with a Luxembourg-based job reinsertion programme to make the helmets in Luxembourg.
Dada cycles is not the couple’s first foray into social entreprise while in Luxembourg. In 2014, they launched a social entreprise consultancy firm and Rebecca was among the founding members of packaging free collective store Ouni. Pending the response to the Kickstarter campaign, David says he hopes the firm will be able to roll out other urban and sustainable cycling products in future.
David expects to start the Dada Kickstarter campaign in mid-September.
The photos of this article were changed at 1pm on 2 August, 2019.