Swedish retailer Ikea, who is well known for its DIY furniture, great Houseware deals, and overwhelming warehouses, is also making positive strides in the sustainability space.
Ikea has announced that it is trialing the sale of used, patched-up furniture in the UK as part of its efforts to become more environmentally-friendly. It had successfully held trialing the furniture exchange in Edinburg and Scotland for over a year. According to the company, similar programs have been offered in Ikeas across Japan as well as Spain.
The process is simple: First, fill out a form and attach photos of your used IKEA furniture item. Then, an IKEA employee will evaluate the furniture and send you an offer. Next, you take your furniture into an IKEA store, where you will receive your offer in the form of IKEA store credit.IKEA will simply place the items in the store’s bargain corner, where they will be sold for the same exact value of your store credit. So as long as the furniture in the bargain corner gets sold, IKEA is merely breaking even on this program — which shows the brand’s dedication to a circular business.
By offering this buyback and resale scheme, IKEA is lowering the demand for new products made of new materials, as well as keeping more products out of the landfill. Earlier, the Swedish Retailer has collaborated with Zedify to deliver their products the old-school way, via a bike at Greenwich.
IKEA has also launched a textile recycling scheme across the UK. Ikea said that the two schemes are a step towards developing a circular business model where materials and products are reused or recycled.
Ikea chief executive Jesper Brodin, who spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos said, “These tests as part of a more eco-conscious business approach that also benefits customers. “If the last decades were about mass consumerism, now we are getting towards mass circularity”, He further added, “You build in an economic incentive, you build in a consciousness with consumers that they don’t have to own it, but own this collectively in the world and recycle it.”
Ikea UK sustainability manager Hege Sæbjørnsen said the furniture and textile schemes were a step towards developing a greener operation. The firm has launched a pilot scheme in Switzerland where it leases its items, although there are no immediate plans to bring it to the UK.
The retailer began testing textile recycling in Cardiff nearly two years ago, and customers have been able to bring in old clothes, curtains, or other furnishing fabrics to be repaired or cleaned or sent on to a homelessness project of recycled. Last year in November, The Swedish furniture company announced a partnership with British designer Tom Dixon to develop a series of indoor farming products to encourage a sustainable lifestyle by making “homes the new farmland”. This follows its earlier soilless hydroponic system launched way back in 2016.
In India, the retailer giant opened its first shop in Hyderabad last year and offers delivery of goods by solar-powered rickshaws. It has launched other programs to suit local needs to curb pollution as well. We at Iamrenew, remain optimistic that the furniture giant will soon launch such recycling programs in India as well, given that recycling preloved items at a bargain rate is a specialty that almost all Indians inherit.
Image courtesy: Ikea