Kickstarting FEND SUPER, a foldable bicycle helmet with Sujene Kong and Christian Von Heifner
Informal community members Christian Von Heifner and Sujene Kong are excited about conscious mobility. At a recent internal project chat, they sat down to tell us about their ultra-portable and safety certified helmet — FEND One. And, we got a peek into their newest iteration, FEND SUPER, which already has over 1000 backers on Kickstarter!
Sujene and Christian got the idea for FEND back in 2016. Their goal was simple–create a compact and foldable helmet that could be used to get riders safely around a city. With Christian’s background in mechanical engineering and industrial design, and Sujene’s expertise in fashion merchandising and buying, they thought that this would be a fairly straightforward task.
But, rightfully so, helmets have extensive safety measures that need to be passed before they can hit the market. When innovation such as folding is added in, becoming safety compliant gets even more challenging.
Christian and Sujene didn’t let passing CPSC safety standards stop them. Instead, they spent ten months living in China and working with safety labs to perfect their design through ASTM testing. In 2018, FEND One finally went live. And since then, it hasn’t slowed down — they’ve sold over 20,000 FEND One helmets!
After a few years of success with FEND One, Christian and Sujene wanted to take their original iteration to the next level. They decided to create a new model–FEND SUPER. Based on consumer feedback, FEND SUPER has similar technology to FEND One, but it also includes removable and rechargeable lights, as well as a more gender neutral design. Thanks to everything they learned when designing the original, FEND SUPER has a much more streamlined manufacturing process, and though it has more features, it can be offered at a lower price point.
FEND’s mission goes deeper than designing beautiful helmets and making sales. They profoundly believe in promoting sustainable modes of transportation and reducing carbon emissions, all while getting folks safely around their cities. That’s why FEND has partnered with multiple nonprofits such as Transportation Alternatives and Scoot Safe.
Given the success of FEND One, we’re excited to see all that FEND SUPER will offer riders. Their Kickstarter still has a month left — check it out!