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Image / Editorial

IKEA want to buy back your old furniture – yes, really

by Lauren Heskin
15th Oct 2020

Hoping to encourage more of a circular economy, the new IKEA Buy Back initiative is designed to help you get rid of unwanted furniture while making it even more accessible to buy. 

As a staple purchase in any first-time home, IKEA furniture often makes up the bulk of the pieces we own when we’re starting out. Picking up the mid-century-esque Ekenaset armchair is basically a right of passage for anyone moving out on their own.

But what happens when your family grows or your tastes and budget change? You don’t really have anywhere to put the little armchair, or that now-minuscule dining table for two that you loved so much. Once useful, they can become obsolete as your life moves on. 

Now, the Swedish brand has announced that in 27 countries, including Ireland, that it will be encouraging customers to bring back their old IKEA furniture in an effort to contribute to a circular economy. Each piece brought back into the shop can be exchanged for an IKEA voucher. All furniture will then be available to buy in stores as second-hand items for a reduced price.

Cleverly enough, they will launch their “IKEA Buy Back” initiative on November 24, which is known as Black Friday, a day known for almost unhinged bargain buying and the worst kind of consumer spending and impulse shopping. 

The Plimob processing factory in factory in Sighetu Marmatiei. Romania.

“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,” said Peter Jelkeby, Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer IKEA UK & Ireland. “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. It is an exciting step forward in our journey towards becoming a fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.” 

They’re taking Covid-19 seriously too, with all returned furniture to be quarantined and thoroughly sanitised before going on the shop floor. 

So how much are we talking? Well, vouchers can be given from anywhere between 3o per cent and 50 per cent of the original price. Items that are still as good as new will get 50% back, items with some minor scratches will get 40% of the original price and well-used pieces get 30%. Pretty good considering the life cycle each piece of furniture has already had with you and next one it will have once its snapped up by its new owner.

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