IKEA is not just about flat-packed furniture, Swedish meatballs, and modern modular decor. The company is launching a new “Buy Back” initiative with the aim of becoming “a fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.”
The idea that you can bring back your used furniture and even make some money doing so is great news for anyone (me!) who feels guilty every time they throw away something perfectly functional, albeit out of fashion, just to replace it with something newer and cooler.
IKEA says that under the scheme, customers be given vouchers to spend at their stores, up to the value of the condition of the furniture they are selling back.
It’ll kick off this November and here’s how it works:
- You bring in your used IKEA items
- These will be assessed and depending on the wear and tear you can sell them back to the retailer for as much as 50 per cent of the original price
- They won’t end up in landfills
- Instead, they will be refurbished for the secondary market
- Your used furniture must be from IKEA
- Best of all, proof of purchase or a receipt is not needed to participate (phew! I can never find mine back)
- “As new” pieces, with no damage or scratches will receive 50 per cent of the original price
- “Very good” items, with minor damage, will get 40 per cent back
- “Well used” furniture, with several scratches, will get 30 per cent back.
“By making sustainable living more simple and accessible, IKEA hopes that the initiative will help its customers take a stand against excessive consumption this Black Friday and in the years to come,” it said in reference to 27 November, when lots of retailers offer big discounts on their products.
IKEA said that anything that cannot be resold will be recycled or donated to charity.
And there are no catches that we can see: products must be returned “fully assembled,” and there’s no expiration date for the vouchers.
This isn’t the first time IKEA has come to the forefront of sustainability. In 2017, they launched the “Food is Precious” initiative to help minimize food waste in their popular food courts. Within two years, IKEA was able to reduce waste by 50 per cent. This means that they have saved three million meals worth of food from waste.
Last year, IKEA announced its aim of becoming climate positive. It will invest $220 million in green energy, reforestation, and forest protection. Additionally, if you were never into their famous meatballs, they now have many plant-based and meat-free options available, including a vegan hot-dog.
By 2021, IKEA plans to have dedicated areas in every store where people can sell back their old furniture and find repaired or refurbished furniture to buy.
“Our ambition is to reduce more greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 2030 than the entire IKEA value chain emits while growing the IKEA business,” said Torbjörn Löf, IKEA Group CEO.