[*BCM*] Fair Trade Bike Frames & Components?

David Hammond dabbotthammond at comcast.net
Tue Jul 27 12:39:03 EDT 2004

Hey, Moz,

What's up with all the unjustified ASSumptions?  Why do you think I asked
the kick-off question to this thread (do you remember what it was, or care)?
I want to be sure that IF my bike design proves successful (a HUGE if, I
grant you), those who make the frames and other major components are in a
union or co-op, getting fairly and justly compensated for labor performed in
a safe, comfortable and respectful environment.  Under those conditions,
having those frames made in the third world would be a good thing, no? Now,
maybe I'm being a Pollyanna - maybe those conditions are just a pipe dream -
hence, my original question: Is there an organization out there doing for
bike frames and components what Fair Trade is doing for coffee?

And what's this bling about "mass manufacture in third world conditions?
75% of the chips in the machine you're gonna flame me with are made in third
world countries - you think they carve them out of the packed dirt floors of
their huts?? "The jump from "thinking, caring" to "just
wants to stay alive" is a biggie, and needs to be catered for in the
design."  Now I feel like the AFLAC duck - WHHAAAA!?!?  Did I make that
jump?  Whoever did, they forgot their chute.  What's this got to do with

My bike needs a very strong frame that allows an XtraCycle to attach very
easily, has clearance for a 4th chainring in the bottom bracket/chainstay
area, accepts the Marzocchi MXComp fork, and retains a touring style
geometry.  The designer of said frame deserves A) a comfortable living
making such frames, or B) a comfortable living collecting a royalty from
each frame built to her/his design.  The designer has the choice.

So explain to all of us again how this is the "antithesis of fair trade".
If all we find overseas are sweatshops, we plan to do the co-op thing here.

Dave Hammond

p.s.  Know what Mother Nature says to someone driving themselves to
extinction?  "Here's a free tank of gas, a free map, have a nice trip."


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Moz" <list at moz.geek.nz>
To: "Boston Critical Mass" <list at bostoncriticalmass.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 1:04 AM
Subject: Re: [*BCM*] Fair Trade Bike Frames & Components?

> David said:
> > You would need to make ONE  frame (sans fork - we're probably
> > specifying Marzocchi suspension forks) to our specifications, which
> > we would source in Asia, with you to receive a royalty for every
> > frame built there for us.
> Isn't that exactly the antithesis of "fair trade"? You get the
> craftsman to make a single item, then duplicate it as cheaply as
> possible somewhere else? Royalties are such an open question that I
> suspect only lawyers would come out of it happy.
> Also, from an engineering POV, there's a world of difference between a
> design for a craftsman to build, and a design for mass manufacture in
> third world conditions. The jump from "thinking, caring" to "just
> wants to stay alive" is a biggie, and needs to be catered for in the
> design. Since you're not clear on whether Igleheart would be the
> designer or simply a local version of your third world sweatshop
> inhabitant (or something in between), I can't begin to answer it.
> -- 
> Moz
> Save homo ped plumbium - they're driving themselves to extinction.
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> list at bostoncriticalmass.org
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