IKEA UK & Ireland has launched a new textile take-back scheme at its Cardiff store, encouraging customers to recycle unwanted textiles and help the local community.
As the first IKEA textile take-back initiative in the UK, the scheme will give customers in Cardiff the opportunity to bring in any unwanted textiles purchased from any store – from clothing to soft furnishings – to be reused, repaired or recycled. There will also be workshops in store showing customers how they can breathe new life into old textiles, or turn them into something new.
The pilot, supported by sustainability not-for-profit WRAP, will see IKEA Cardiff donate all textile products received from customers to the YMCA in Roath, Cardiff. The scheme will provide a range of textiles for people in the local community, including the homeless and low-income families.
Recent research by WRAP reveals that textiles are one of the least recycled commodities in the waste sector(1). Each year, WRAP estimates that the UK consumes 1.7 million tonnes of textiles, with almost a third (620,000 tonnes) ending up in landfill or incineration(2).
Matthew Fessey, Store Manager at IKEA Cardiff, commented: “With our vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, the textile take-back scheme in Cardiff will help our customers to live more sustainably while supporting people in need who are living in the local community.
“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and this scheme builds on our zero waste to landfill achievement last year across the UK & Ireland business. We also want to allow our customers to upcycle their unwanted goods instead of throwing them away, minimising the contribution to landfill.”
IKEA Cardiff’s charity partner, the YMCA, will supply a constant flow of textile products to low-income households and charity shops in Wellfield Road, Albany Road and the new store in Colchester Avenue, with weekly collections from the IKEA store. The YMCA will also provide training opportunities for those out of work in the Cardiff area.
Mandy Caddy, from the YMCA in Cardiff, said: “We are delighted to partner with IKEA Cardiff on the textile take-back scheme. This initiative not only diverts waste from landfill, but enables the YMCA to provide much-needed items to people in the community.
“Donated items will also be sold at our charity shops, helping to generate income to support homeless services in Cardiff. What’s more, it will provide the homeless and unemployed with training opportunities in recycling and retail to help them find employment. It’s a win-win for the local community and the environment.”
The new scheme in Cardiff joins IKEA’s existing take-back services spanning sofas, batteries and light bulbs across all its stores in the UK and Ireland. IKEA will review the pilot in Cardiff with a view to potentially roll it out nationally depending on customer feedback.
WRAP has worked with IKEA to develop and implement this new scheme as part of its EU Life+ funded REBus project, which helps businesses take action to keep resources in use for as long as possible and make the circular economy a reality.
Get involved with IKEA’s workshops
To support the pilot, IKEA and the YMCA are running a series of inspiring workshops, entitled “Revive, Reclaim, Re-Love, Repeat” at the Cardiff store, teaching customers how they can repair old textiles or turn them into new items. These workshops will run each Wednesday from 11am to 1pm, covering a variety of topics and all are free to attend.
To donate textile products, customers can visit the Customer Returns area in IKEA Cardiff. Or to book onto the free workshops, all of the details can be found here.
For more information about IKEA’s sustainability initiatives in the UK & Ireland, please read the UK & Ireland Sustainability Report FY16 here