An avid cyclist “upcycles,” turning old bike parts into memorable belts

Virginia

Upcycling is transforming something old and used into something beautiful. And like cycling, it's a lot better for the environment.

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — Henry Dunbar learned about upcycling while he served as the executive director of Phoenix Bikes, a nonprofit youth bike organization. The bike shop hosted a clinic where experts taught students how to transform old bike parts into jewelry.

Now, Dunbar serves as Arlington County’s director of active transportation for the county’s Commuter Services. He still upcycles, and he’s known around town for his belt.

“I’ve had people literally stop me on the street,” said Dunbar. The avid cyclist transforms spokes, chains, and bike tires into belts. One tire can fit up to two adults. All the materials come from bike shops, where they otherwise would’ve been headed for the landfill…including Phoenix Bikes.

“Most of them will have ample supplies that they’re willing to give you. You’re helping them by just getting this stuff out of there,” said Dunbar.

Upcycling is transforming something old and used into something beautiful. And like cycling, it’s a lot better for the environment.

Dunbar doesn’t sell his creations. Instead, he teaches community members how to make one for themselves at workshops at Arlington Public Library.

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