Retail Refugees

Is Ikea really that great?
July 20, 2009, 8:31 am
Filed under: Art/Design, Stores | Tags: , , ,

We all know and love Ikea for its affordable and well-designed furniture and home accessories. We applaud their committment to “democratization in design” and their use of energy efficient lighting throughout their stores. Fast Company point out an article from the Atlantic stating that Ikea actually promotes the worst type of unnecessary consumption of all. According the new book, “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture,” Ellen Ruppel Shell says, “…put down your 59-cent Färgrik coffee mug and ask yourself: Can we afford to keep shopping at places where an item’s price reflects only a fraction of its societal costs?”

Many points in the article support the ideas the Ikea is, in fact, doing much more harm than it leads on:

-Ikea deliberately locates stores outside of city-centers causing consumers to drive an average of 50miles roundtrip

-Products are designed only for brief use, and then to be disposed to a landfill

-Ikea does not use sustainably harvest wood and is the world´s 3rd largest wood consumer

-”If Ikea thinks it’s crazy to care deeply about objects, why does it sell a wok named after a girl?”

We are not saying that Ikea is the only company with CSR issues, but perhaps it is time for the company to take another look at its operations and wastefulness.



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