Ikea Norway introduces the Trash Collection

Ikea’s latest sustainability push sees the brand repurpose furniture that has been found as trash on the street, to be sold in a new secondhand store

To promote the new initiative, Oslo-based ad agency Try has created a striking ad campaign which features a TV spot and posters showing Ikea feature in trash piles across Norway.

The ads highlight the Ikea products within the piles of junk and then label them with where they were found, what work needed doing to bring them back into use, and what the secondhand price is versus the original.

According to the ad agency, over 3 million pieces of furniture are thrown away each year in Norway. The ads are unflinching in where this waste ends up: left on streets, at dumps or on beaches. The scenes are a pretty damning indictment of the waste culture that arguably cheap furniture brands such as Ikea have contributed to.

This campaign forms part of a new sustainability drive by the brand however, and the hope is that the pretty depressing and unglamorous imagery in the ads will prompt consumers to think differently about the Ikea products they own.

“Too much of our furniture end in the trash, and with this campaign we wanted to show how it doesn’t need to,” says Tobias Lien, marketing communications manager at Ikea. “Often, the products are just fine or maybe they just need a few small spare parts. To show how little it takes, we have therefore collected some of them and given them a second chance.”

To help customers see the longer term value of Ikea products, the brand is offering to buy back furniture customers no longer need, plus will provide free spare parts for furniture that needs fixing, which can be ordered online.

“An important part of our responsibility is to launch new services that help our customers throw less,” marketing manager Frode Skage Ullebust. “I must admit that it hurts a little to see our furniture presented in this way, but at the same time I think it has become a very honest and beautiful way to get people to reflect.”

Agency: Try
Creatives: Caroline Riis, Eirik Sørensen
Designers: Jeppe Gjesti, Mats Mæland, Magnus Snickars, Dennis Magnus-Andresen, Tommy Lybekk, Marthe Solli
Graphic design: Elise Eik Ismar
Production Company: Aparent
Directors: Kavar Singh, Niels Windfeldt