IKEA is taking a stand against Black Friday and excessive consumption. | IKEA

From November, IKEA will buy back certain furniture items from its customers to reduce waste. The new circular economy-inspired scheme is launching to coincide with Black Friday in order to “take a stand” against “excessive consumption” and promote sustainability.

The largest furniture company in the world will offer customers vouchers worth up to 50 percent of the original price of each item. Furniture must be from IKEA, but proof of purchase is not required. The Buy-Back scheme applies to fully-assembled drawer units, tables, chairs, cabinets, desks, shelving, and cupboards.

Items returned with no scratches will receive 50 percent of the original price. While items with minor scratches will receive 40 percent. Any “well used” items, with many scratches, will still receive 30 percent.

The new scheme—due to start on November 27 and end December 3—will launch in 27 countries, but Ikea has already been testing second-hand furniture sales in Glasgow and Edinburgh for over a year.

IKEA currently offers its customers replacement screws and suggests repairing, donating, and recycling any furniture items unsuitable for the Buy-Back scheme.

“By making sustainable living more simple and accessible, IKEA hopes that the initiative will help its customers take a stand against excessive consumption this Black Friday and in the years to come,” a press release from the company reads.

Repairing, reusing, recycling, and buy-back schemes all help to minimize unnecessary waste. And a circular approach to production and consumption has a significant impact on sustainability efforts worldwide. It drastically reduces the quantity of useable items sent to landfill,  thereby also reducing the need for consumption, production, and its related carbon footprint.

IKEA and Sustainability

The new buy-back scheme is just the latest sustainability program from Ikea.

The Food is Precious Initiative launched in 2017 with the goal of minimizing waste within the company’s popular food operations. By February 2019, IKEA had reduced its food waste by 50 percent; saving 1.4 kg or three million meals worth of food from waste.

Also in 2019, the company announced it would invest $220 million in an effort to become climate positive. IKEA said it aimed to invest the money in green energy, reforestation, and forest protection to help mitigate its own carbon footprint.

IKEA continues to emphasize plant-based food options, even removing meat from its Christmas 2019 menu. It banned all single-use plastic and began sourcing all paper from certified sustainable suppliers.

“Our ambition is to reduce more greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 2030 than the entire IKEA value chain emits while growing the IKEA business,” said Inter IKEA Group CEO Torbjörn Lööf in a statement.