How your old, punctured inner tubes could transform lives in Malawi

Charity produces recycled goods from your unwanted tubes

We want your punctured inner tubes! That’s the message we are passing on from the Kizevac Project, a charity that helps organisations in deprived African communities.

You may well remember the Kizevac Project as the people behind the Elephant bike, a massive fleet of ex-Royal Mail Pashley bicycles that are currently being refurbished and sold off to profit the people of Malawi, Africa. For every Elephant bike sold, one was also shipped to Malawi to help local business people. You can read more about The Elephant bike here, but let’s get back to those tubes.

Along with batches of bikes, the Kizevac Project also sent many donated sewing machines to Malawi. These have since been used to train local tailors, who got to keep a machine at the end of the training and now use them to earn a self-employed income — and that’s where the tubes come in.

Donated inner tubes will be stitched into wallets, phone cases and other accessories

Malawi is currently one of the poorest countries in the world and its economy is worsening. Malawians are really struggling to earn enough money to feed their own families and two years of poor harvests mean that people are hungry. There’s no welfare state, so earning a living is vital for survival.

So donated inner tubes will be stitched into wallets, phone cases and other accessories by the trained tailors and the Krizevac Project will buy back the creations from each maker. The recycled rubber goods will then be resold in the UK with any further profits generated used to fund future shipments of Elephant bikes.

The next time you change a tube and go to put its blown replacement in the bin remember that, for the price of postage, you could make a real difference to the lives of those less fortunate. The charity has said it will take any tubes, with the exception of slime filled versions.

The address for tubes is: Elephant Bike/Krizevac Project, Unit 1 Brookside Business Park, Brookside Road, Uttoxeter, ST14 8AU.

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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