Gone are the days when one merely rents an apartment. In the near future, you'll be able to rent your furniture too — particularly from Ikea.
Ikea has started testing out furniture rentals and furniture buyback programs in an effort to be more eco-friendly. Rentals allows consumers who are worried about the environmental impact of disposing of furniture to be more environmentally friendly, allowing the furniture giant to recycle and reuse materials.
"We are testing radical solutions," chief executive of Ikea Jesper Brodin said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "There are very different levels of interest depending which city you are in. So in London, for example, there are a lot of people who commute and they are not interested with passion in building a second home, so rental there is more interesting."
Ikea has experimented with buying back sofas in Japan, another area where people may be less inclined to purchase a home.
"You build in an economic incentive. You build in a consciousness with consumers that they don't have to own it, but own this collectively in the world and recycle it," Brodin said.
To take things a step further, carpets could be rented too. Dutch science group DSM has created a polyester carpet that can be recycled indefinitely.
"Why should you own a carpet? Maybe you could just rent it," chief executive of DSM Feike Sijbesma also said at the event. "If the manufacturer can use your carpet as an input, then you could rent the carpet. You don't need to buy any carpet again for the rest of your life, just rent it."
This isn't the first time Ikea has been influenced by both their customers' way of living and their shopping habits. From implementing the store credit card to creating new and innovative products such as the side table with a handle for people constantly on the move, it's clear Ikea wants to make our collective lives easier.
Let's hope the rental and buyback program gets the green light because a more frequent home facelift via renting sounds like a dream.
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