Ikea pioneered cheap, disposable furniture. Now it’s discouraging it

0

Some of the company’s most iconic products will now have disassembly instructions.

You assemble every piece of Ikea furniture you buy, but do you remember the last one you took apart?

Ikea wants to make disassembly a consumer habit, and it’s releasing a series of instructions to help users do just that. Some of its most popular products, such as the Billy bookcase, now have instructions online for how to take the product apart, making it easier for the consumer to move it to their new digs, donate it, or resell it.


[Image: Ikea]

Traditionally, Ikea’s products have been known more for their short lifespan than their longevity. But the push for disassembly is part of the company’s effort to become completely circular by 2030, meaning that all its products will be designed for reuse, repair, or recycling. As part of this effort, the company launched a furniture rental program in 2019 and a furniture buyback program in the fall of 2020.


[Image: Ikea]

The step-by-step disassembly guides are currently available for six Ikea products: Billy, Brimnes, Lycksele, Malm, Pax, and Poäng. You can view and download the guides online for free. The page also has a link to general sustainability advice for extending the life of your furniture, such as giving it a fresh coat of paint or choosing modular furniture that you can add to you as you need.

Ultimately, the disassembly instructions are an effort to curb the death sentence of affordable, mass-market furniture: After a few years of use, that inexpensive Billy bookcase meets its untimely demise in a fast-furniture trash heap, a landfill.

In contrast, these disassembly instructions make it easy to put Ikea products back where they belong: in a flat pack, for someone else to assemble. Now that’s full circle.

 Seeking to build and grow your brand using the force of consumer insight, strategic foresight, creative disruption and technology prowess? Talk to us at +971 50 6254340 or mail: engage@groupisd.com or visit www.groupisd.com/story

About Author

LILLY SMITH

LILLY SMITH IS AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF CO.DESIGN. SHE WAS PREVIOUSLY THE EDITOR OF DESIGN OBSERVER, AND A CONTRIBUTING WRITER TO AIGA EYE ON DESIGN.

Comments are closed.