IKEA Pledges to Integrate Recycling and ReproductionIKEA Pledges to Integrate Recycling and Reproduction
February 24, 2016
“We have hit peak stuff.” With that pronouncement—which came during a discussion about business strategies for climate change, hosted by The Guardian in January—Steve Howard, “sustainability chief” for low cost furniture and Swedish meatball behemoth Ikea, pledged his company last month to joining the movement towards reuse and re-imagination, as well as reproduction and recycling, instead of the mindless production of more “stuff.” I hope architects—who, like most of us current and former yuppies, grew up furnishing our homes from the big box store—will listen and follow his example.
I have long been a fan of Ikea. It was a bit of a guilty pleasure, in which my husband and I worked hard to blend their products into a home of secondhand modern masterpieces. When Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, came to visit us a number of years ago, he looked around our oversized new home and pronounced: “When you grow up you will learn that when you have a home like this, you don’t furnish it with Ikea.” I was humbled, until it occurred to me: How does he know?