Rasmus Malbert/Cellutech

Renewable wood pulp steps in for plastic foam.

Cyclists, ready yourselves for yet more proof that you are saving the planet.

As a part of Swedish Forest Industries Federation´s Ekoportal2035 concept house, Stockholm-based startup Cellutech teamed up with designer Rasmus Malbert to launch a prototype bike helmet made entirely of forest-based products.

The outer layer is veneer wood, the straps are formed of extra-strong paper, and the shock-absorbing foam is made not with petroleum-based Styrofoam, but with a completely biodegradable, wood-based material.

Rasmus Malbert/Cellutech

This material, trademarked Cellufoam, was developed by three Swedish researchers at the Wallenberg Wood Science Center tasked with creating products sourced entirely from Swedish forests.

In a press release, Lars Wagberg, a fiber technology professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and one of the researchers on the project, says that the new helmet lining offers protective properties on par with Styrofoam, “but even better, it is from a totally renewable resource—something we can produce in the forest.”

Rasmus Malbert/Cellutech

The KTH press release points out that because Swedish forests are planted and harvested continuously like other cash crops, researchers are confident that it will be possible to take Cellufoam “to market on a cost-effective scale in a not-too-distant future.”

This bike helmet falls in line with a burgeoning trend of wood-based developments, notably in the Netherlands: the city of Emmen recently launched a plan for a bike path made out of recycled trees, and following a successful Kickstarter, the Amsterdam-based retailer reWrap is producing a fully biodegradable designer accessory aptly called the “Tree Bag.”

For now, a Cellufoam bicycle helmet is another score for cycling and sustainability—and also, it looks really good.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. Equity

    The FBI's Forgotten War on Black-Owned Bookstores

    At the height of the Black Power movement, the Bureau focused on the unlikeliest of public enemies: black independent booksellers.

  3. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  4. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  5. Life

    The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire

    In fast-aging pockets of rural America, older residents are going back to work. But not always because they need the money.