Remember the morning commute? Packed into subway cars, sitting in traffic, and hopping in and out of Ubers. While Zoom meetings seem like a fair trade for the stress of the early morning commute, it’s hard to believe the changes in daily life compared to just over a year ago pre-pandemic. These drastic changes in our daily lives have since become our new normal influencing people to step outside their comfort zones, literally.
In a recent study by the University of Vermont, researchers found that outdoor activities have seen the largest spike in years with a 70% increase in activities like walking due to the pandemic which majority of subjects agreed had a positive outlook on their mental health and wellbeing. In an effort to expel “quarantine fatigue”, resorting to Mother Nature has become one of the pandemic’s biggest trends, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
The migration from our computer screens to the great outdoors during the pandemic has greatly influenced our transportation habits. Public transport systems don’t feel as safe as they once did initiating a need for more independent, affordable, and safe alternative transportation methods. Enter the E-Bike.
Thanks to shifting mindsets on environmental, health, and wellness habits during the pandemic, the electric bike, or E-bike, has become one of the pandemic’s biggest trends as a prefered method of transportation with E-Bike sales increasing from 92% in April 2020 to 137% in May 2020 as compared to the previous year. “I think it’s one of the only possibilities really that you can get outside and enjoy nature. You can go distances that maybe you couldn’t explore as much with the train or public transportation” says Michael Lillelund Co-Owner of MATE makers of the ultra-stylish E-Bike, MATE.BIKE.
Created in 2016 by Copenhagen-based siblings Christian Adel Michael and Julie Kronstrøm, their passion for biking (the prefered method of transport in Denmark) led to the duo recognizing a gap in the biking market. “Christian came up with the concept of taking the electronic bike–which back then, was something pretty boring and something that maybe older people would take around–and then combining it with something fashionable, cool and desirable for younger people, almost like a statement” said Lillelund.
Between its variety of vibrant colors, sleek design, and foldable body, the MATE.BIKE is perhaps the ultimate functional statement accessory. “If you look at other E-Bike brands, they look the same design wise. MATE is very fashionable and something that people can actually feel, especially in Copenhagen, riding a MATE.BIKE in Copenhagen is almost like you’re driving a Porsche, you know? Something people are very proud of you could say” he said.
With 15 years of experience in the fashion industry, Lillelund was on-boarded in 2018 to fortify MATE’s fashion angle emphasizing product exclusivity. “My strategy has never been to focus on regular bike shops, but only going for the top concept stores around the world. I first put in Maxfield we did a big launch in Los Angeles, we did Selfridges London, we did the Webster in Miami, really taking that other angle in that we don’t really want to be a bike company, we want to be a lifestyle company that sells in lifestyle” he said.
Like any luxurious lifestyle item, it’s not the easiest task getting your hands on a MATE bike.
Recently, the brand dropped their first big name collaboration as the first non-sartorial addition to Moncler’s Genius collection where only 1,000 units were released of a special Moncler x MATE.BIKE. “That’s also something that’s really super important for us when we do all these collaborations is that it’s not just another branded bike, but it has something extra feature or something special around the bike that’s actually useful in your everyday life” said Lillelund. Exclusive items and limited edition drops is certainly what drives the current climate of fashion, and MATE has tapped into this in a whole new way.
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This fusion of fashion and functionality that MATE offers is one that hasn’t gone unnoticed. In what would become the most successful European crowdfunding campaign ever, MATE’s achievements have interested a star-studded group of investors like Jay Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, Millie Bobby Brown, and Jessica Chastain, to name a few, who all hold stake in the company today. Not to mention MATE’s long list of celebrity clients including Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry, Lil Baby, and Corey Gamble who purchased several bikes for the Kardashian-Jenner clan. “It’s perfect in pairs, that’s why we always say you can MATE together,” says Lillelund. “You can go out with your partner or friends and go around and experience the city in a completely new way.”
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At 68 miles to one charge with a maximum speed of 30 mph, MATE’s successes have transformed the game when it comes to easily accessible, green transportation that allows for a safe and easy way to explore your city– and they’re not stopping there. On top of a line of matching accessories coming out in an extension of the MATE brand, joining MATE’s two E-Bike models will be the MATE SUV, a cargo-style bike made for local trips in further replacing a need for a more environmentally-conscious alternative for short car trips. “We found that in the U.S., 60% of all car trips are less than five miles,” he said. “It’s literally where you can fit your kids so you can go pick them up from school, you can put groceries in there, there’s a full music system so you can go to the beach with your friends, there’s like a cooler for beers and sodas. It’s like a whole entertainment box that we are launching in a few months.”
Since MATE’s small beginnings as a crowdfunded prototype, the company has become a brand of the moment encompassing the core values of what matters to this generation. From its eco-friendly approach to stellar design in limited quantities, MATE is setting a precedent for the future of travel where style and steez don’t have to be sacrificed when it comes to getting around your city in the most safe and effective way with a little added thrill. So go ahead and drop your training wheels, the future of the post-pandemic world is riding on two wheels.
The MATE Icon and MATE X E-Bike are now available to shop on mate.bike.