Friday 4th December 2015 is the best day ever to shop with the cycling apparel brand Vulpine. Why? Because today they’re donating a BIG % of all sales to World Bicycle Relief, a charity that uses bicycles to enable economic and cultural empowerment across Africa.
Want to know more? Here is Ethel’s story. And if you won’t sit astride a bicycle unless its carbon, top spec and aero, then prepare to feel a bit humbled.
A major part of World Bicycle Relief ‘s work is providing bikes to students who live in remote areas so that they can travel to school safely and arrive on time, rather than having to walk for hours each day and being too tired to study. Student grades increase by up to 59% as a result. 70% of student recipients are girls: an education allows them to pursue their dreams and prosper. And there is also this: girls who are educated are less likely to get pregnant at a young age, which is fundamental in alleviating poverty.
Each bicycle costs just £95.
I did a talk at my daughter’s school about World Bicycle Relief’s work earlier this year*, and got the opportunity to ride one of the bikes. They are massively heavy, sturdy and durable – just as well if you’re going to balance your whole family on top of one or ride across rough terrain every day. There are no brakes: you pedal backwards to stop. I’m guessing you have worked out that there are no gears either. Each bike is built to be compatible with locally available spare parts, and local mechanics are trained to service and repair them so they are sustainable and reliable.
This is such is simple, effective and powerful story: £95 for a bicycle that will change a life.
So, back to Vulpine, December 4th and some maths.
Vulpine are donating 20% of every sale on the 4th December to World Bicycle Relief. They will then match each donation via Pledgit, so it becomes a 40% donation. So, splash out on a Waterproof Utility Jacket and a pair of socks and not only do you get some fabulous quality gear, but that’s one bike bought, just like that! Grab a pair of Jinzu Raw Selevedge Jeans – and your matched donation will have paid for two thirds of a bike! Fancy some Cotton Rain Shorts? That’s half a bike! And if 10 people buy one Storm Cap each…that’s another bike bought, and a lot of comfy heads.
And what’s more, every time you step (or ride!) out in your new gear you feel happy in the knowledge that an African schoolgirl is shredding her way down a dusty trail, on the way to a better life, thanks to you. Clothes don’t feel much better than that!
*I’m pleased to report that the girls at my daughter’s school raised enough to buy 30 Buffalo bikes.
Find out more about World Bicycle Relief here.