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Thrift store couches are turned into seats for Brekr's electric mopeds

Leather couches in outdated styles don't stand much of a chance in thrift stores. According to Netherlands-based recycling company Aktief, around 70 percent of leather couches and armchairs that are brought in aren't actually sold.

Since leather gets better with time and the backs of couches don't suffer much wear and tear, Brekr is partnering with Aktief to turn those unwanted couches into seats for its electric mopeds. The Dutch brand works with Miller Kustom Upholstery, which carefully cuts leather from sofas and constructs the saddles by hand.

While Brekr's seat colors were previously limited to black and brown, the upcycling partnership extends those options to any color a cast-off sofa comes in.

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Anyone who has ever visited a thrift shop can conjure images of sad old sofas made of material that's still perfectly functional. That's what makes Brekr's innovation compelling — couches into moped saddles is a tangible, easily understood story of how circularity can work. And it's those narratives that can entice people to pay more for products that provide alternatives to unbridled consumerism.