Ikea dominates the fast furniture industry. Since its inception it has single-handedly changed consumers views of furniture, creating cheap and easy to build pieces that last a couple of years. Admittedly, this wave of fast furniture has become so easy, we’ve all partaken in it. But at what cost?
Recently a Netflix documentary series entitled: Broken has aired an episode bashing Ikea for its cheap and fatal builds that have caused numerous infant deaths around the world (namely the Malm dresser). Whilst also demonstrating how our addiction to fast furniture is responsible for the slow disappearance of ancient forests.
When you look at their sustainability pledges carefully you realise that the greenwashing narrative is there, on their website Ikea claims that “Wood is a fantastic material. It’s renewable, recyclable, durable, long lasting and ages beautifully. As a large user of wood , we have a responsibility and an opportunity to positively influence how wood is sourced. Currently 89% of the wood we use is from more sustainable sources*, and our goal is to reach 100% by 2020. *Recycled and FSC certified wood”
Ambiguous and open ended “more sustainable sources” could mean almost anything. Their asterisk mentions recycled and FSC certified without further explanation on their actual sources or locations. Meanwhile Ikea has been under fire for the last couple of years for decimating the Russian tundra as well as Romania’s pristine Carpathian forests. Ikea even had its FSC certificate suspended in 2015 yet with their constant expansion it seems only logical that such a mass furniture producer is unable to really sustainably source its most used material.
In all fairness Ikea has given itself very ambitious targets to become a circular company by 2030. We shall see how this plays out in the next couple of years.