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INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Talks With Swifty Scooters Creative Director Jason Iftakhar
The SwiftyOne up close
INHABITAT: What elements of Swifty Scooters do you try to source locally?
We manufacture frames, front forks, rear forks, footplate about four miles away from our assembly line. We die cut the grip tape in-house much of the machining in house at workshop in Salford Manchester. We also assemble every scooter and quality check every component ourselves.
The product itself is sustainable because a folding adult scooter is also a smart way to get around our cities and bridge the gap between public transport, reducing the need for a car for example, and making the option of a train into work more desirable. There are lots of customers who used to drive to the train station and jump on a train into the city. They now leave their cars at home and scoot to the train.
The way Swifty folds is also very clever, it’s designed to fold flat rather than small, so it fits into your hallway, boot of your car etc. It’s a clever volume and convenient in all sorts of public places.
The scooters in action
INHABITAT: Your website states that you make the scooters by hand – how long does it take to construct each one?
It takes about one hour to build a scooter from scratch.
INHABITAT: What separates Swifty Scooters from other adult kick scooters on the market?
Lots of factors really, and a long list, but in short:
- The fact that we are British designed and engineered
- We are a premium scooter brand
- Innovative folding mechanism
- Smart design and engineering
- Build quality and design
- Our brand values and story
- We are a family business
- Large 16 inch pneumatic wheels give a smooth ride
Swifty is also sustainable because it’s designed to last a long time and we supply every single nut, bolt and part on our website. I don’t know another company that does this. So we promote fixing the scooter as opposed to buying a new one.
INHABITAT: What other sustainable products is Swifty Scooters working on for the future?
Camilla Iftakhar is working on a capsule apparel program for 2013 and a range of accessories for the scooter. However, as far as scooters go this is top secret at the moment. I can say we have some amazing things to come. SwiftyONE is the first of many scooters.
INHABITAT: Due to the constant battle between cyclists and drivers on the roads, where would you put the scooter on the urban transport hierarchy? Is it a road vehicle (for use in cycle lanes) or for use on pavement?
In the UK there is no law that says you cannot ride an adult scooter on the pavement or road. We suggest that our customers make sure they know local policy and ride with care and attention for others. SwiftyONE is a different category on its own. There is no other product quite like SwiftyONE, so we think its new territory and a growing market.
INHABITAT: Jason, thanks very much.
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