MARÍA DEL MAR BENÍTEZ (TBK BIKE): «WITH THE DISTINGUISHING SAER LABEL YOU BECAME AWARE OF YOUR EVOLUTION ON THE PATH OF SUSTAINABILITY»
TBK Bike, founded in the town of Dos Hermanas in Seville in 2015, is a company that manufactures, distributes and sells bikes with wooden frames. The advantages of these bikes include their stability and high durability, elegant design, sustainability and their finishing by hand. Chef Martín Berasategui, the image of the brand, decorates some of his restaurants with these bikes. AYMA established the first Declaration of Sustainability for TBk Bike, which included the SAER label (socially, environmentally and economically responsible). The company‘s commitment to sustainability has opened doors to Spanish and international clients who seek to maintain these values in their entire value chain.
We spoke to the promoter of TBK Bike, María del Mar Benítez García, graduate in Administration and Business Management and specialist in team management.
– Where did the idea of making bikes out of wood come from?
– It was Rafa Andújar, co-founder of the TBK Bike brand, who came up with the idea. As a bike and nature lover, he thought it would be a great challenge to design a different kind of bike constructed from wood, just like the first bike invented by Karl Drais in 1817.
– What would you say are the fundamental pillars of your company?
– Our company is based on a perfect triangle: design, comfort and sustainability. Each design is unique and different because wood is like a fingerprint: its patterns are unique and therefore, no two bikes are alike in the market. As for comfort, its molecular structure of wood dissipatesvibrations, which is why pedaling a wooden bike is much more comfortable. Regarding sustainability, these bikes are based on the most natural raw material, which is wood. We guarantee that the wood we use comes from sustainable forests with PEFC2 certification, and that in the manufacturing process hardly any CO2 is emitted. We recycle in the manufacturing process: the wood left over from making the frames is used to manufacture accessories, handlebars, pedals and fenders. The sawdust is picked up by farmers from the area who use it as fertilizer, as it comes from natural wood. Within our pillars, we work with NGO Plant for the Planet.
– In addition to creating bikes for city use, TBK Bike has started designing them for the road and for cycle tourism. What has the response been to these bikes?
– The bicycle market is changing. Cycle tourism bikes and electric bikes have been very well received, and the road bikes surprised us all when we took part in the Race Across Italy in 2018 and achieved second place in the world.
– What was involved in achieving your first declaration of sustainability?
– It meant bringing value to our work methodology and to our company culture.
– Once you obtained the distinguished SAER label from AYMA, what were the biggest changes that occurred in your company?
– You become aware of the importance of evolving on a path towards sustainability, having the steps laid out with AYMA in the declaration, and it is present in all advances and in your company‘s messages to clients and collaborators.
– At what point is the company at the moment? What has changed since its beginnings in 2015?
– Since 2015 we have succeeded in completing our product range and tested them with the corresponding certificates through Abimota, an external company, and we are currently finalizing our direct and online sales processes for our clients. This is the goal for 2019.