Chris King talks ecological trailblazing, stewardship and responsible consumption in the cycling industry.
As part of the 2019 Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show, Chris King participated in an illuminating and thought-provoking panel discussion on ‘Sustainability in the Cycling Industry’ – here are some of his key points about a topic that is very close to his heart.
Since its inception in the 1970s, Chris King Precision Components has been committed to manufacturing products that, in King's own words, “will outlast your material use of them”.
The company set a precedent for sustainable practice which the rest of the cycling industry has yet to catch up with. As a company, Chris King eschews conventional business short-termism with a gaze fixed firmly on the horizon. "A lot of the things that we’ve done in our factory weren’t based on the short consciousness of making a quick buck," says King. "They resulted from thinking about what makes a good way of life, and how we can stick around in the long run."
This willingness to invest in sustainable manufacturing processes and employee wellbeing permeates through into each and every product – the handmade bearings in all Chris King products burnish with use, actually wearing in over time rather than wearing out. Meanwhile, all metal filings are condensed into pucks for recycling.
The depth of King’s commitment to stewardship continues to shine through as he dissects wide-reaching obstacles to a sustainable future and points out the power of individuals in driving positive change.
“Consumption is one of the biggest negative drivers for sustainability. The drive for fashion and constant change entails excessive waste, but we have a choice about how much of this we participate in. If we value sustainability, then we can choose fewer and longer lasting products.”
King's ethos of producing exceptional products that combine responsibly sourced materials and environmentally sound manufacturing proves that a progressive, eco-friendly approach and high-performance cycling aren't mutually exclusive. This simple thought that underpins all of Chris King's output was a choice for the company and it's a choice for riders too.