Sweden’s famous furniture brand, IKEA, recently announced that it plans to use only renewable and recycled materials in its products by 2030, in a brilliant commitment by a global store group to reducing its impact on the environment.

Now it seems that the world’s biggest furniture brand is taking this pledge to the next level. IKEA, in Sydney, will re-sell old furniture and are calling the initiative the ‘Tempe Take-back service’. This is a big step for the company and marks a shift in the changing mentality of consumers towards embracing a circular economy, rather than a linear one.

The IKEA Tempe Take-back service gives customers the incentive to recycle unwanted IKEA goods, instead of throwing them away. If their item is eligible, the customer will then be offered a price for their furniture.

This idea is fundamentally built on the thought that nothing useful should go to waste and currently, lots of our unused and unwanted items go to waste. 34% of Australians said they would be happy to buy second-hand furniture and this led IKEA to see the market for repairing and re-selling their own furniture.

IKEA Chief Executive, Jesper Brodin, speaking at the World Economic Forum held in Davos in 2018 said, “If the last decades were about mass consumerism, now we are getting towards mass circularity. You build in an economic incentive, you build in a consciousness with consumers that they don’t have to own it [the product], but instead own things collectively in the world that can be shared and recycled”.

IKEA also commented that ‘This year, IKEA launched its 2030 People and Planet Positive Strategy. The three change drivers – healthy and sustainable living; circular and climate-positive; and fair and equal – form our roadmap to creating a better everyday life for the many people globally and locally.’

‘At IKEA our overall ambition is to become people and planet-positive, and to inspire and enable the many people to live a better everyday life within the limits of the planet.’

As well as this, IKEA UK and Ireland launched a textile take-back initiative at IKEA Cardiff, giving customers the opportunity to bring in any unwanted textiles purchased from any store – from clothing to soft furnishings – to be reused, repaired or recycled. The store ran workshops showing customers how they can breathe new life into old textiles, or turn them into something new.