We think great design should be available to the many, not a luxury that only a few can afford. So together with our suppliers, we innovate new materials and technology to make our products even better and more affordable.
Low prices are a natural part of the IKEA concept
To lower costs, we always look for new ways to make our supply chain more efficient. Large orders make it possible for us to cut prices without compromising on working conditions, quality or sustainability. Our suppliers, like us, make a profit from high volumes rather than high margins.
- IKEA forms long-term partnerships. On average, we work together with our suppliers for 11 years.
- In 2015 we produced 6.5 million BILLY bookcases.
Saving our customers time and money
At IKEA, we constantly question existing solutions. By making our furniture easier to assemble, our production more efficient and by improving our packaging for easier transport, we save time and money for our customers.
Cutting down assembly time. Making the assembly process simpler is a long-term mission. A small ribbed fitting makes assembly easier than ever, minimizing the use of tools. It took several years to transform the idea behind this solution into a market-ready product.
Innovations for affordable design
We believe that all people have the right to good design at affordable prices. To achieve this, we use the right combination of form, function, quality, sustainability and a low price. We call it Democratic Design.
Great design at a great price. Our product developers, technicians and suppliers teamed up to make a complex manufacturing technique affordable. The result is FJÄLLBERGET, an office chair that combines comfort and quality with great design.
Innovations for sustainability
At IKEA, making more from less goes back to our roots. Together with our suppliers, we try new ways to make more out of the resources we use. We look for more sustainable solutions by improving production processes, avoiding waste and reinventing materials. And the best thing is, that using resources more efficiently is not only good for the planet, but for cutting costs as well.
More sustainable dyeing techniques
Together with our textile suppliers, IKEA continuously explores how to innovate conventional dyeing processes but also develop new techniques that will improve the environmental footprint. In textile dyeing, there’s no “one technique fits all”, as different materials and colours respond best to different techniques. Since the majority of our textile production occurs in water-scarce countries, it is more important than ever to rethink how we dye our textiles to minimise the amount of water, energy and chemicals used. For people and the planet.
Using nature’s own dyes
Mountains and sea, earth and sand, trees and plants. People have always been fascinated by nature’s colours and harnessed them to dye clothes and other textiles. Now we’ve revived this tradition and use rosemary plant stems, almond nutshells and orange peels to give the JOFRID textile series of curtains, throws and cushion covers, its warm, natural colours. Textile dyes are usually oil-based, but the dye we use for JOFRID is produced using natural and renewable resources that look like and function in the same way as chemical dyes. There’s also a significant saving of water in the dyeing process.
JOFRID is part of a pioneering project at IKEA utilising dyestuffs made from agricultural waste that would otherwise be thrown out. This is how we can create beautiful textiles while reducing our environmental impact so that our planet can continue to inspire us with its colours.
In dope dyeing, the colour pigments become part of the fibre, so there is no need to use water to colour the fabric. As a bonus, the colour quality and durability of the product is improved.
Did you know?
All in all, the dope dyeing technique has led to a total annual saving of 300,000 tonnes of water at the supplier.
We continuously explore how innovation can be combined with sustainability. HANNALENA, a soft curtain with a poetic expression and made from recycled PET bottles which would otherwise end up as waste, is one of the results.
HANNALENA got its delicate pink hue from dope dyeing, a process where pigments are added to the liquid plastic solution before becoming synthetic fibres. This way of dyeing saves approximately 80% water, 20-30% dyestuff, 80% other chemical agents and it also requires less energy.
Printing that saves water
Many of the patterns in our textiles are printed with a pigment print - which skips a large washing step during production. This method reduces water consumption by 30-40% compared with the reactive printing technique. For example, for a single duvet cover with a pillowcase, at least 30 litres of water can be saved.
VADHOLMA is an all-new example of the greatness of solid wood on a particle board core. The worktop has all the benefits of solid wood – such as a hardwearing surface that can be sanded and oiled – while effectively reducing wood consumption.
The same is true for MÖLLEKULLA, in oak, and BARKABODA, in walnut, two wooden worktops that can be custom-made for your kitchen solution. They are both made according to the same principle as VADHOLMA, with the same great result.