As sustainability becomes an increasing priority for consumers, homeware brands big and small are evolving to offer solutions to the problem of here-today-gone-tomorrow trends and the waste that comes with them.
Of course, if you want to ensure that a piece of furniture stays in use (and out of landfill) for longer, you can always buy second-hand whether that be from charities or rooting around in vintage shops, a method which has long been popular among interior magpies for finding one-off pieces.
There’s also been an encouraging influx of furniture renting services, where customer can bag this season’s must-have chair for a certain amount of money a month, allowing them to simply give it back when the contract ends.
While many of these eco-solutions come from independent brands, huge market player Ikea has now stepped up with a new recycling scheme to show how important sustainability is and will continue to be, in this space.
Ikea’s ‘Buy Back’ scheme will allow customers to sell back their old Ikea furniture to the store, receiving vouchers of up to 50% of the purchase price depending on the condition.
This move will transform Ikea’s offering from one known for things like lower-priced storage solutions to championing recycling and second-hand, encouraging customers to purchase from the new sections of the store dedicated to just those things.
Not all furniture can be returned, though, for example, everything in the approved list is without upholstery. Furniture that can be returned includes sideboards, bookcases, shelving, small tables, dining tables, office drawers, desks, chairs and stools (without upholstery).
Furniture that is new without any scratches can be awarded 50% of its worth in Ikea vouchers, pieces with a few small scratches but in good condition receive 40% and items that are more worn could be worth 30% of the original price in vouchers. It is possible to calculate this online, but the final amount will be agreed in-store at a Buy Back collection point.
Items which have been returned will then be put on sale in stores and anything that cannot be resold will be recycled.
The scheme will launch internationally on 27 November, the same day as Black Friday, offering customers an alternative narrative to the huge sales and consumption that will be everywhere on that day.
It’s an exciting development in Ikea’s move towards building a circular business model. The brand is attempting to ensure that all materials and products are reused or recycled and is investing £2.9bn in its goal to become carbon neutral by 2030.
As climate change continues to threaten our very existence, we can only hope that this type of thinking is picked up by more market-leading brands in the near future.