Coyle, a wooden helmet company, is one of those ventures that began as a garage experiment and slowly evolved into a successful business. Coyle makes specialty helmets in Corvallis, Oregon, using a wood shell and a cork cushioning system. Finding local products can be a bit of a challenge if you live in North America, so for those recreationists, Coyle offers a brain bucket made close to home and of natural materials.
In general, making products with organic materials is less harmful than with synthetic materials. The manufacturing process and any waste produced is not toxic, as is often the case with plastics, resins, etc. According to the company’s website, most of the wood used is “salvaged from trees that would otherwise be destined for fuel chips, firewood, other artisan projects or natural decay in the forest.” They even get “end pieces” of Douglas Fir, which are a byproduct of milling wood for the construction industry.
Founder, Dan Coyle, wanted to see the major components made from organic materials, if possible. So in deciding what to use for padding, he tested cork against the industry standard, high density EPS, and found that cork exceeded the safety standards for helmets. Using cork also allowed him to create a truly sustainable product. The cork is harvested by hand from living Cork Oaks “without damaging the tree or reducing its lifespan.” This company serves as great example of how to rethink standard manufacturing processes to create a more environmentally friendly product.
Photos from Coyle Treepieces