2022 Grants Challenge

ShredCycle brings Circular Economy to SouthLA

Idea by Shred Cycle

Shred Cycle is a Women-founded cleantech recycling startup focused on closing the loop on waste in the action sports industry by recycling polyurethane skate wheels! Shred Cycle makes sustainability easy and accessible to action sports enthusiasts & manufacturers by upcycling polyurethane waste from old skate wheels back into useful outdoor products. Together with nonprofit partner Bridge-to-Skate, Shred Cycle will provide economic and professional opportunities for youth in an emerging Circular Economy industry in South LA.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

Bridge-to-Skate Nonprofit

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

BIPOC- and Women-Owned Businesses

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South LA

West LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Los Angeles is the hub of action sports, an industry that creates millions of pounds of waste each year. Recycling used equipment is often confusing and sustainable options and resources are expensive and not accessible. Yet, there is a vibrant community of non-traditional and female-led action sports enthusiasts who want sustainable solutions and want to protect the natural environment that serves as an outlet for youth and adults alike. Access to resources, rising costs of entry, and lack of local opportunities in the Circular Economy create barriers to building solutions and working capital for those in areas usually most affected by waste and pollution. In addition, Women-founders makeup only 28% of all start-up founders and receive only 2% of venture funding. We believe the solution to these problems lie in our own communities. As we look towards the future, Los Angeles is positioned to be a hub for an inclusive circular economy with female and BIPOC centered leaders.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Shred Cycle is a Women-founded cleantech startup working to close the loop on waste in action sports by recycling polyurethane skate wheels and manufacturing waste back into useful outdoor products. Shred Cycle is working to provide professional employment opportunities in the emerging Circular Economy industry to youth and individuals who live in areas most impacted by waste and pollution. Shred Cycle is ready to pilot a patent-pending recycled polyurethane material for use inside of outdoor and action sports products. In partnership with nonprofit partner Bridge-to-Skate, We will provide internships and professional opportunities for youth in South LA to gain career-enhancing experience in a female-led Circular Economy startup. Shred Cycle is a cohort member at the LA Clean Tech Incubator and is preparing to fundraise and takes on investors within the next 12-24 months. In addition, Shred Cycle is preparing for commercial applications in the action sports industry, creative and awareness-building art installations, manufacturing, and opening a Headquarters in South LA.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Shred Cycle envisions LA as a cleantech and Circular Economy hub with Women-founders at the helm. This grant would provide us the resources to begin an innovative pilot of a patent-pending recycled polyurethane material made from old skate wheels and manufacturing waste, and allow us to begin building and training a circular economy workforce in South LA. While Shred Cycle will be focused on launching a successful pilot and hiring 2-3 staff people over the award year, we are looking towards building a lasting impact that will ripple across the action sports and circular economy industries, potentially impacting the way millions of people interact with waste and consumer products. First, by manufacturing completely recycled materials that have the potential to change the way products are designed in the larger consumer products market. Second, developing a diverse and inclusive professional Circular Economy workforce based in South LA, an area heavily impacted by waste and pollution.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Milestones: Recycled Material Pilot: Commercial application adoption within the award year. Pilot and commercial application will prepare Shred Cycle for funding rounds and to take on venture capital or angel investment to grow Circular Economy impact. Workforce: Hiring and measuring progress and training of 2-3 Interns or Staff from current, past, or affiliated Bridge-to-skate youth from South LA. Environmental Stewardship/Circular Economy opportunities: Provide environmental and circular economy education and skate mentorship to 150 Bridge-to-Skate youth in South LA. Youth completion of a series of workshops and programs that leave them prepared for future internships or employment opportunities in the Action Sports or Circular Economy industries. Direct Impact: Economic and professional opportunity - 2-3 staff 150 youth from Bridge-to-Skate Recycle and upcycle over 5000lbs of polyurethane waste. In addition, recycle and upcycle over 5000 post-consumer skate wheels.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 150

Indirect Impact: 1,000

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

Bridge-to-Skate is Shred Cycle's nonprofit partner in the skate industry and assists with Shred Cycle's wheel collection program. As apart of Shred Cycle's mission to have a lasting impact, make sustaibility easy and accessible, and ultimately inspire people to realize a radically sustaible world, we have partnered with Bridge-to-Skate to provide after-school skate mentorship, internship and economic opportunities for youth, and a bridge for youth to become Sustaibility/Circular Economy Professiols in their communities. As a part of our partnership, we would like to hire past or present Bridge-to-Skate youth as interns at Shred Cycle, and provide the most local impact by funding a full time Skate Mentor and Environmental Steward Director at Bridge-to-Skate in South LA.