Democratic Design

The story behind our products

Every IKEA product has a story to tell. And like every good story, it starts with a great idea. What’s ours? We want to make everyday life at home better. That’s why we do thousands of home visits every year to learn more about peoples’ needs and dreams. This is the starting point for every product we design.

For us, good design is the right combination of form, function, quality, sustainability and a low price. Our product developers and designers have to find the right balance of all these elements when the design process begins. It’s a unique challenge that keeps us innovative.

Designing good quality

For us, good design is the right combination of form, function, quality, sustainability and a low price. Our product developers and designers have to find the right balance of all these elements when the design process begins. It’s a unique challenge that keeps us innovative.

The people behind our designs

What makes the IKEA design process unique is that our suppliers play a very important role. Very early on in the design phase, our product developers and designers work with a diverse team of technicians, manufacturers and specialists – often right on the factory floor. This special partnership helps keep our prices low and find the latest techniques to create products the IKEA way.

High-quality testing

We test all of our materials and products during the product development phase. For us, good quality is based on the needs of our customers, how they use our furniture and their lives at home. Our two IKEA Test Labs in Sweden and China are also training centres for our co-workers and suppliers.

Choosing materials

Since 2015, we’re working hard to ensure that only renewable, recyclable or recycled materials are used to make all our home furnishings. For us, it’s a matter of responsibility. But we also believe that making the best use of resources helps us keep prices low and quality high. Here are some of the more sustainable materials we use today.

Wood

By 2017, 50% of our wood will be FSC® (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified or from recycled sources. The FSC standard protects ecosystems and people’s livelihoods, and our long-term goal is 100%.

Wood plastic composite

Wood plastic composite consists of polypropylene and wood fibres from sawmill waste. Using wood fibre makes plastic products stronger and less expensive. And it helps put waste to good use.

Water hyacinth

A fast-growing plant, water hyacinth is a durable and highly renewable material we use to make hand-woven products like baskets. And because it is clogging up waterways in South East Asia, using it this way benefits both people and biodiversity.

Recycled pet plastic

PET plastic can be melted down and used to make other products such as quilts and pillows. An old plastic bottle is transformed into pellets, then into a usable textile. This gives plastic another life and reduces waste. It also creates a material that’s much more comfortable than the name might suggest.

More sustainable cotton

Together with the Better Cotton Initiative and WWF, we enable more than 100,000 farmers in India and Pakistan to produce cotton using less chemicals and water. As of Sept 1st 2015, all cotton used in IKEA products comes from more sustainable sources.

Flax and Linen

Linen is produced from extracted fibres of flax plants that grow in large fields, often in cooler climates where artificial irrigation and pesticides are rarely used. The fibres of fast-growing flax plants make linen strong and durable, yet soft and breathable, too.

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