Source: BREKR | Global Recycling Day takes place annually on 18th March, organised by the Global Recycling Foundation. Recycling is an integral part of the climate change cycle and helps in promoting and protecting global sustainability. Every contribution, however, small has helped and will continue to do so, as together we fight to reduce global pollution for a sustainable future.
BREKR has decided to use leather from local thrift shop organization Aktief for special saddles on its electric mopeds. In the Netherlands, more than 40,000 leather couches wait every year in vain for a second life at the recycling center. In the worst case, they even end up in the garbage. It is such a shame, as the leather is often still good enough.
That’s why BREKR joined forces with thrift shop Aktief and saddle maker Miller, to turn neglected couches into awesome saddles for their BREKR models.
The production of a new leather sofa means 90 kilograms of CO2 emissions, says Gerry Berndsen, director of the recycling company Aktief. A large part of that leather furniture is not given a second life and remains with the recycler. “We receive a lot of leather sofas and armchairs every year. In the ideal situation, we would of course sell these again, but in practice about 70 percent turns out to be unsuitable for that.”
Saddles with character
BREKR, the electric moped manufacturer located in the Achterhoek (The Netherlands), will now use the leather for the production of special saddles, which customers can order instead of the regular saddle. The leather is carefully cut out of the sofa at the recyclers warehouse. Saddle maker Marcel Molenaar from Miller Kustom Upholstery processes the leather in his studio into a custom made saddle for the BREKR models.
Marcel has been working with leather for years, yet second-hand leather has his workshop not often reached: “Most people opt for new leather, while used leather is not of lower quality. On the contrary, it retains its strength and shows some extra character.” BREKR also guarantees that the leather will retain its quality. The second-hand leather saddles are covered by the same warranty period as the standard saddles.
BREKR x Aktief
Niels Willems, one of the founders of BREKR, is proud of this collaboration with Aktief. BREKR develops and builds the BREKR electric moped model B. “Used leather is unique. It gives the saddle a look that you can never create with new leather.” BREKR presents a black or brown artificial leather saddle as standard, but from now on the possibilities are endless. Willems hopes for more such collaborations to promote circularity and thus further develops BREKR as a “never finished” brand.
Source numbers of recycled banks
According to Gerry Berndsen, director of Aktief, 3,000 sofas arrive at their recycling company every year. 30% of this is leather (900 sofas). Of these 900 benches, 585 (65%) are not sold and therefore eventually go to the bulky waste. The conversion to national numbers is done on the basis of the number of inhabitants. 240,000 people live in the area where Aktief collects, which is 1.4% of the total number of inhabitants in the Netherlands. This means that 1.4% of the Dutch population annually recycles an average of 3,000 sofas. This would mean that more than 215,000 sofas end up in the cycle in the Netherlands, 64,500 (30%) of which are made of leather and more than 40,000 (65%) of these sofas are not sold.