Ikea pursuing alternative fibers in product development.
Democratic Design Days event focuses on innovative home furnishings.
Ikea is working on home textiles made from rice straw and ocean plastic.
Those were among a host of collaborative innovations announced during the retailerâ€™s annual Democratic Design Days event. Altogether, the latest initiatives are focused on areas including safety, health, food, art/design, urban living and sustainability. New ideas range from integrating gaming into to home furnishings to creating robotic furniture to launching a collection of bedding, bath and kitchen products for disabled consumers.
In the soft home area, new developments include:
Forandring, a collection made from rice straw â€“ a harvesting residue that contributes heavily to air pollution when burned. As part of Ikeaâ€™s Better Air Now initiative, the retailer has joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to create a model that will reduce pollution in India and other crop-burning regions of the world. The first prototypes were presented during Democratic Design Days and will be sold this fall in select Ikea markets.
Musselblomma, a collection made of recycled plastic, partly collected by Spanish fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea. The plastic is aggregated in containers onshore in ports and cleaned, sorted, mechanically recycled and together with recycled PET bottles made into yarn and fabric. The products â€“ a bag, two cushion covers and a tablecloth â€“ are designed by the Spanish designer Inma BermÃºdez, with inspiration from the ocean. They will be available in Italy and Spain this fall. Last October, Ikea became a member of NextWave, an initiative that engages private companies, scientists and NGOs to integrate ocean-bound plastic into consumer products in a scalable way.
TreetoTextile, which launched in 2014, seeks to reduce dependency on cotton and other fossilized materials by industrializing a new low-cost fiber based on cellulose from wood. Although the project is still in the research phase, but the goal is to deploy the developed new technology and make it accessible for textile suppliers around the world. A commercial demo plant will be built as an integrated part in one of Stora Ensoâ€™s existing plants and the plan is to start production for Ikea bed linens, curtains and upholstery fabric in a couple of years. The project is being conducted in collaboration with H&M and innovator Lars Stigsson.
Ikea also reiterated its intention to replace all virgin polyester in textiles with recycled poly by 2020. Currently, 50% of Ikeaâ€™s poly textiles are made with recycled fiber. The company is also aiming to eliminate virgin fossil materials from its products by 2030, replacing them with renewable or recycled materials.
Courtesy: Home Textiles Today
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