Ikea’s secondhand campaign

As part of an eight week advertising campaign Ikea ran a ‘digital flea market’ for secondhand furniture on Sundays.  The Second Hand campaign encouraged people buying new Ikea furniture to sell their old furniture rather than letting it go to landfill.  Ikea’s agency shot ads of some customers’ old furniture which appeared with the seller’s phone number online, on posters, on TV ads, and on Ikea’s Facebook page on Sundays.  All the furniture used in the campaign found its way to a new home, and sales of Ikea’s new furniture increased.

I wonder if we will be seeing the Second Hand campaign running here?  At the very least it may boost awareness and appetite for secondhand furniture generally.  Ikea’s campaign is currently arms length, encouraging a secondary market.  I wonder if we will see other furniture retailers follow suit?  Some furniture retailers will remove furniture they are replacing, for a fee.

Elsewhere, in the clothing industry, Marks & Spencer have partnered with Oxfam to take unwanted M&S clothes, where as Monsoon, and Timberland have in-store recycling programmes in exchange for vouchers or discounts off new purchases.

Re-use is one way to extend a product’s life, but what about the beginning and end of a product’s life?  It would be great to see more furniture and other products whose design considers what happens when the product is no longer wanted, so that it can be readily dissembled, repaired or recycled.

Ikea Hackers



Welcome to an Ikea revival.  We took two Skoghall Ikea bedside tables or storage boxes, connected them together with a couple of 4x4x4cm struts, drilled down a plywood lid, and voila!  A new workbench, come desk, come toy or craft tidy for the kids.  We left it unpainted so years of crayon and paint abuse could be allowed to create a little personal character.

If you too have or find some unloved Ikea that could do with a bit of recycling va-va-voom, then have a look at IkeaHackers. The site is a mine of modifications on and repurposing of Ikea products, and an ode to human ingenuity.  Our amateur DIY moment pales in comparison to the multitude of the clever and creative hacks out there.