Dezeen Magazine

IKEA store facade

IKEA launches Buy Back initiative for unwanted furniture

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is introducing a new initiative in time for Black Friday that will see it buy back customers' unwanted IKEA products for up to 50 per cent of the original price.

The furniture company said the pieces will then be resold as second-hand furniture, creating a more sustainable solution for getting rid of unwanted furniture.

The initiative, which launches in time for Black Friday on 27 November, also aims to help IKEA reach its goal of becoming a fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.

Furniture pieces to be graded and resold

Buy Back pieces will be graded when traded in, with pieces deemed to be "as new" fetching 50 per cent of the original price, "very good" pieces 40 per cent and "well-used" pieces 30 per cent.

The furniture will be resold in IKEA's As-is area, with anything that can't be sold either recycled or donated to community projects.

"Being circular is a good business opportunity as well as a responsibility, and the climate crisis requires us all to radically rethink our consumption habits," said IKEA's country sustainability manager for UK and Ireland, Hege Sæbjørnsen.

“Currently, 45 per cent of total global carbon emissions come from the way the world produces and uses everyday products, so Buy Back represents an opportunity to address unsustainable consumption and its impact on climate change.”.

Customers who sell back an item will receive an IKEA refund card without an expiry date in order to encourage them to only buy items "when they really need something," the brand said.

They also have to fill in an offer request online to sell back items, with pieces eligible for buy back including dressers, bookcases, dining tables, chairs and children's products.

Coronavirus made move towards circular economy more important

"Sustainability is the defining issue of our time and IKEA is committed to being part of the solution to promote sustainable consumption and combat climate change," country retail manager and chief sustainability officer of IKEA UK and Ireland Peter Jelkeby said.

"With the launch of Buy Back we are giving a second life to many more IKEA products and creating more easy and affordable solutions to help people live more sustainably."

IKEA's move towards a circular economy was made more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic, the retailer's head of circular design told Dezeen this summer.

"It has become even more important and relevant to take care of what you already have and prolong the life of products that you already have," Malin Nordin said.

IKEA is also launching its first second-hand store in Eskilstuna, Sweden, later this year. The shop will be located in Eskilstuna's second-hand shopping centre ReTuna and sell refurbished furniture.

The company has launched a number of other products and collaborations this year, including a fashion collection release by its Japanese arm, a Lego collaboration and a collection designed with Zandra Rhodes.