IKEA is to open its leading sustainable store in the UK this Thursday which has been designed to have a positive impact on the environment.
The Greenwich store will feature a Learning Lab (a global first for IKEA) which comprises a dedicated space for customers, partners and the local community to explore prolonging the life of products, upcycling, reducing waste and growing their own food.
The Swedish furniture retailer is also running a pilot project in Switzerland, to lease furniture to those who would rather rent items than buy them, to boost the circular economy.
An IKEA spokesperson said: “At Ingka Group, we have an ambition to inspire and enable people to play an active role in making the circular economy a reality, which we can support by developing new ways for people to buy, care for and pass on products.
“In certain markets, such as Switzerland, we’re exploring and testing potential solutions and have a pilot project to look into the leasing of furniture, but it’s still too early to confirm exactly what this will look like.
“In order to become a fully circular business by 2030, this can only be achieved through collaboration. In addition to working with customers to find appealing and accessible solutions that enable them to live more sustainably, we are also partnering with stakeholders to work together and share experiences.”
Last year IKEA sent zero waste to UK landfill for the third consecutive year and offers a furniture take-back service for customers who want to replace an old bed or sofa. The furniture the store takes back, if in good condition, is then donated to a local charity partner who will give the item a new lease of life with local families in need. Last year a total of 12,240 sofas, beds and appliances were recovered for reuse and recycling.
Every store has a recovery team which works to repair and repackage products that have been damaged in transit and last year more than a million spare parts were handled to help repair products.
IKEA also offers a textile take-back service in some stores, where customers can donate any unwanted textiles that can be re-used or recycled. Last year, two tonnes of textiles were collected in the Cardiff store for local charity partner YMCA.
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