There has been a lot of talk among retailers of the circular economy which places zero waste and recycling at its heart, but few have actually developed policies to promote it. Hoping to set a trend is Ikea which has today confirmed that its buy-back scheme for furniture will go live across UK stores imminently. It was originally slated for launch last year.
The scheme, which is part of Ikea’s partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, enables customers to return new or gently used furniture and get back up to 50% of the original price. No cash will be offered, rather the recompense will be in the form of an Ikea voucher with no expiration date
The retailer says that it will take all kinds of furniture including; dressers, sideboards, bookcases, shelf units, dining tables, desks and chairs. The items will then be placed in a dedicated area in the store. In some Ikea stores customers will be encouraged to pen a life-story for the item, the concept being that it will help potential buyers appreciate the emotional and practical value of what they are buying.
Ikea has a goal of becoming a fully circular business by 2030. In addition to its recycling initiatives, it also intends to end the use of all single-use fossil-based plastics and shift to only using renewable and responsible key materials.
Ikea’s country sustainability for the UK and Ireland representative Greg Lucas, said, “our research shows that there’s a huge demand to buy quality second-hand products; in fact, three in four would now consider buying pre-loved,”
“For many, this comes down to affordability, but sustainability has a huge role to play in this decision too. Encouragingly, 32% of people say that the reason they purchase second-hand is to extend the life cycle of that item, with over a third (35%) agreeing that they like items with a history.”