All the Ways IKEA Philippines Promotes Sustainable Shopping
Upcycling fabric, sourcing food from local farmers, and more.
(SPOT.ph) The first-ever IKEA in the Philippines officially opened in November 2021 and since then, folks all over the Metro and beyond have flocked to the Swedish furniture store at the SM Mall of Asia Complex to stock up on all kinds of home essentials at budget-friendly prices. Though they're best known for their signature Nordic, form-meets-function approach to design, IKEA is much more than just its aesthetic. Through their world-famous, ready-to-assemble finds, they promote practicality, accessibility to quality goods, and even sustainability.
One of IKEA's brand goals is to become a circular retailer by 2030—this means that they intend to keep products and materials in use for as long as possible, getting the maximum value out of things before discarding them. Store manager Georg Platzer calls this commitment "an investment in the future of this planet," noting that while implementing sustainable practices and using eco-friendly materials can often be costly (in a monetary sense), "if there’s no planet, if there [are] no people, there is no business."
How IKEA Philippines Promotes Sustainability
They offer pre-loved finds at their Circular Shop
On the third floor of IKEA Pasay's five-storey building, you'll find an area (right by the cashiers) known as the Circular Shop (previously called the Circular Hub), which is a space dedicated to giving new life to secondhand furniture. The Circular Shop is where you can purchase IKEA products (including large furniture, decor pieces, storage solutions, dinnerware, and even textiles) that were either previously used on display, returned, or have been discontinued.
This space gives the retailer a chance to find homes for items that would not normally be sold and provides customers a place to both get rid of old or unused finds without letting them go to waste and to shop for products at discounted prices. You’ll spot a tag on each item that features its new price. We took a look around and spotted pieces that go for up to P5,000 off their original price. And don't worry, you won't find broken or unusable items at the Circular Shop, though a scratch or two may be expected.
Plus, if you visit the Circular Shop from now until June 30, you can get 10% off your purchase on top of the already discounted price. Just take note that only IKEA Family members can avail of the promo.
They phased out single-use plastics
As any true IKEA fan would know, no trip to the furniture store—whether locally or abroad—is complete without grabbing a Frakta storage bag (starts at P40) to hold all your purchases. In fact, most IKEA regulars already bring their previously bought Frakta carriers each time they visit. The reusable bag is part of the brand's dedication to eradicating single-use plastics from their stores—a goal the retailer completed in 2020 when they replaced items like straws, spoons, forks, cups, and plates with "disposables made from 100% renewable sources" such as cutlery made from sustainably sourced wood and paper straws, according to the IKEA website. That means whether you're shopping for furniture or food, you can expect that your purchases will be packaged without unnecessary plastic waste.
They offer food-storage items and bathroom essentials that help make one's daily routine less wasteful
Aside from furniture pieces like tables, chairs, bed frames, and the like, IKEA offers a wide range of reusable food containers and drinkware finds that encourage folks to lessen their reliance on single-use plastic and in turn, generate less waste. They've got containers in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials—depending on what you'd need—each made with the brand's signature no-frills style. They also offer a range of bathroom essentials (showerheads, faucets, and the like) which work to reduce the amount of water used during each wash.
They work with Filipino social enterprise Rags2Riches
ICYDK, IKEA Philippines teamed up with social enterprise Rags2Riches (R2R), making the latter the retailer's official sewing partner in the country. This means that R2R has its own dedicated space in IKEA Pasay (known as the Sewing Service area) where its weavers can provide customization and alteration services for curtains, pillowcases, bedsheets, and more. R2R’s sewing services offer upcycling and zero-waste solutions to make use of excess and off-cut textiles, thus reducing fabric waste.
Thanks to this partnership, which began as early as 2016, IKEA is able to work directly with Filipino weavers—R2R has long been dedicated to providing livelihood to communities in Payatas and other parts of the country—which fits their worldwide corporate social responsibility agenda of assisting in the global developmental goals to end poverty and enable people to have a better life.
They've taken steps to reduce carbon emissions in their delivery services
IKEA Philippines has partnered with Filipino logistics company Mober, which is supporting the furniture store’s goal of using 100% electric vehicles for delivery services by 2030. As of writing, Mober has three units of electric vans used for IKEA deliveries. In place of diesel, these vehicles are charged for about six hours each night and can cover up to 300 kilometers in a day. Plus, according to Mober founder Dennis Ng, one of Mober’s goals is to make the delivery process more efficient by utilizing unused space in trucks and vans (rather than employing too many vehicles), in order to lessen the number of trucks on the road and reduce carbon emissions.
The IKEA restaurant and Bistro aim to make food that is healthy and sustainably sourced
Many of the dishes in IKEA Philippines (such as their famous Meat Balls) are made with no MSG, less salt, and less sugar. They even offer meat-free options (like the Plant Balls) since the production of meat is known to be a big contributor to carbon emissions. They also source many of their vegetable from local farmers in Benguet while also sourcing cage-free eggs from farmers in Batangas. Plus, their goal for 2022 is to have less than 24 grams of food waste per serving.
The in-store operations also employ resource-saving practices
The entire IKEA Pasay store uses only LED light bulbs (in place of incandescent bulbs) which are both more energy-efficient and long-lasting, preventing excessive electricity consumption and the need for constant replacement. All the lights they sell in-store are also powered by LED bulbs. Aside from that, they make use of water-saving systems in their bathrooms and have their own waste-management facility.
IKEA Philippines is at the SM Mall of Asia Complex, J.W. Diokno Boulevard, Pasay City.
For more information, log on to IKEA Philippines' Facebook page.
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