The retailer's recently launched (and environmentally minded) initiative offers customers gift cards for their gently used furniture.
If you’ve ever assembled—or attempted to assemble—a piece of Ikea furniture, then you’ve likely put your sanity and seemingly stable long-term relationship at risk for the sake of a polypropylene side table. But in addition to your mental health, it turns out all that fibreboard isn’t so great for the environment either—once you’ve convinced yourself that you can afford something a little more substantial than a single Kallax as a room divider, anyway. And for a furnishings company as ubiquitous and dominant as Ikea—one that allegedly sells a Billy bookcase every five (!) seconds—that presents some concerning problems. Luckily for us and the climate change–plagued Earth that we inhabit, however, it seems like the big wigs at the Swedish retail giant are making sustainability a priority. Earlier this year, the business pledged to utilize only renewable and recycled materials by 2030 and it has plans to phase out single-use plastics in its product and food range, too. Now, the brand’s Canadian arm is tripling down with a sell-back program that promises customers value for their gently used Ikea items. The process is pretty simple: customers join Ikea’s free Family program, which comes with benefits like exclusive discounts and product insurance. (If you’ve scanned through an item at Ikea even once, you’re probably already a member.) They’re then able to submit an application online to sell back their preloved Ikea goods. The submissions require at least four images of the ware in question and are assessed by the Ikea team within 72 hours. A dollar value is then offered depending on the product’s condition. The customer brings the piece back to their closest Ikea—no disassembly needed—and receives a gift card worth the predetermined value in return. The item is then sold in Ikea’s “as is” section, where lightly damaged merchandise is stocked. The whole deal essentially saves you the trouble of having to post a Craigslist, Kijiji or Facebook listing, and could potentially divert hundreds of tables, chairs, dressers, and cabinets from landfills amid moves and ambitious redecorating projects—all while providing your fellow shoppers a sweet deal on pre-assembled goods. In other words? Your brain and partner—and Mother Earth—will most definitely thank you.