As part of their campaign towards a ‘circular economy’ aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources, IKEA has just announced plans to start renting its furniture. The trial furniture rental scheme is set to begin in Switzerland imminently and will initially be limited to office furniture, such as desks and chairs.
Yes, IKEA are set to lease out their furniture to customers in a bid to become more sustainable. Though the trial will only include office furniture initially, IKEA hasn’t ruled out rentals for the likes of kitchens and other products in the future.
It’s not the only way IKEA are eliminating waste either; as well as selling products that can be repaired, recycled or resold, the Scandi-giants are also running a furniture exchange program in their Edinburgh store, and will begin a trial of the same scheme in Glasgow by June this year.
Customers are inviting customers to bring their used IKEA furniture back into store to be re-homed, either by selling it again in the store’s bargain corner, or by giving it to a charity. In return, customers are given an IKEA voucher based on the original value of the item and its current condition.
IKEA opened its most sustainable UK store this month too in Greenwich, London, with solar panels, rainwater-harvesting facilities, geothermal heating and all-LED lighting. And in a further bid to cut down waste, ‘Recovery Teams’ who repair and re-pack products that have been damaged in transit have also been deployed in IKEA stores.
Finally, the Swedish homeware moguls have also began offering textile recycling (including non-IKEA items) in their Milton Keynes and new Greenwich stores, following trials at Cardiff. The scheme is set to be rolled out to all UK stores in the next few months.
Find out more about IKEA’s ‘circular economy’ aim over at the IKEA Website.
In other design news, Chile-based designer Margarita Talep is tackling sustainability in a different way by creating a sustainable, biodegradable alternative to single-use packaging, using algae.