Posts tagged with "IKEA"

Waste is a terrible thing to waste: Ikea’s glossy (and free) new cookbook puts food scraps on the menu

April 6, 2021

Summery corncob soup, ‘plantcakes’ made with broccoli and carrot greens, and corn husk smoked chicken with fried corn silk are just a few of the inventive recipes in Ikea’s “The Scraps Book”—a cookbook dedicated to food preparation with the little things we usually throw away, The Chicago Tribune reports.

The Swedish home design brand collaborated with ten renowned chefs to address food waste and to show how easy it is to use food scraps like kale stems, banana peels and spent coffee grounds to create show-stopping meals. The beautifully designed ebook is full of stunning food photos of the 50 easy-to-follow recipes, along with tips like how to build your own backyard compost.

According to a Food and Drug Administration report, food waste is estimated at between 30% and 40% of the food supply in the United States, and the report lists wasted food as the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills.

In 2016, the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency announced the formation of the U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions group and set a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by the year 2030, the Tribune notes.

.“ScrapsBook” is free for download at Apple Books, Google Play, and Ikea.com. The eBook is available to everyone, and Ikea Family members will be automatically entered to win a limited edition hardcover copy of the 214-page book. As Ikea says, “Waste is a terrible thing to waste”

Research contact: @chicagotribune

Flat broke during the lockdown? Then this ingenious $300 flat purse might not be for you

May 7, 2020

Ikea built its home furnishings empire on the strength of one simple idea—products designed in such a way that they can be flat-packed to reduce shipping costs and eliminate the need for a delivery truck. Now, that same level of innovation has come to global handbag and purse manufacturing.

The Milan, Italy-based bag label Up To You Anthology has created a flat-pack purse that it is selling in a variety of shapes and sizes, along with leather and felt options. And yes, just like Ikea furniture, you have to assemble it yourself, Fast Company reports.

Designed by the prolific Japanese firm Nendo, which is known for taking surprising approaches to the design of everyday objects, the bag is called the Mai.

Each bag is laser-cut from a single piece of leather. The consumer is instructed to fold the leather in half to assemble the bag; fitting the rivets into precut holes. And within about a minute of work, you have a fully functional, 3D purse, the business news outlet notes.

As COVID-19 keeps most of us home and puts tens of millions of people out of work, fashion retailers are in a lot of trouble notes. Indeed, J. Crew just filed for bankruptcy, and many direct-to-consumer companies are finding themselves underwater.

Mai wasn’t developed in response to COVID-19. Up To You Anthology told Fast Company in an interview that development actually started on it last year. But it was created specifically to be a bag sold through e-commerce. “Each bag had to be delivered to the customer’s house, so they designed a bag that could be delivered flat, to simplify this process,” a spokesperson explains. “And the customer would assemble the bag themselves. It can be fun!”

Indeed, the slight work of assembly could give the buyer more ownership over the bag—much like the old adage that Betty Crocker cake mix could have been formulated in a way that removed the need to add an egg, but that this modicum of effort makes it feel like you actually baked something.

But ultimately, this bag isn’t just flat to ship but 20% smaller in overall volume when deconstructed than it would be if mailed fully assembled. It costs money to ship air!

For a purse that runs around $300, saving the $8 between a USPS flat-rate envelope and a small flat-rate box might not seem like a lot. But especially as you get into international shipping, the difference jumps closer to $35.

The fact of the matter is, competitive online companies now are being forced to subsidize or eat their shipping costs entirely, Fast Company says—making it a huge expense for every online product company that doesn’t have the leverage of Amazon. And if these businesses are to survive the next two years, every dollar counts.

Research contact: @FastCompany

IKEA Israel offers 3D-printable add-ons to adapt its furnishings for the disabled

March 19, 2019

IKEA—a global retailer that is nearly as famous for its Swedish meatballs as it is for its self-assembled, affordable home furnishings—has started an initiative that will make its products more accessible and adaptable to customers with disabilities.

This month, Goodnet reports, IKEA Israel has teamed up with two NGOs, Access Israel and MILBAT—both of which focus on increasing accessibility for and inclusion of people with disabilities—to create the new ThisAbles line of furnishings.

The line comprises 13 add-ons—designed to be created on a 3D printer—that:

  • Make doors and closets open more easily,
  • Extend the legs of sofas and chairs to better accommodate sitting and standing,
  • Offer a place to attach walking sticks or canes to beds so they are easily accessible,
  • Make shower curtains easier to open and close with a large handle, and e
  • Protect other household furniture with special bumpers to attach at wheelchair levels.

“There is a large population of people with disabilities who cannot enjoy and use a variety of products, furniture and household items that we and our retail colleagues offer to the public,” CEO of IKEA Israel Shuki Koblenz told the Jerusalem Post in an interview, adding, “IKEA has vowed to create a better daily life for as many people as possible, and we feel it is our duty to create this initiative and allow people with disabilities to enjoy a wide range of products, furniture and household items.”

Before starting the new line of accessories, Access Israel conducted a survey in cooperation with IKEA—and found 130 furniture and household items that could be improved for people with disabilities. The accessories were designed by MILBAT, an organization dedicated to increasing the independence of disabled people by means of assistive devices and technology. it was a perfect fit, the three partners say.

In all four of its Israel-based stores, IKEA now has placed special tags that detail the suitability and benefits of the add-ons for people with different disabilities on the 130 items that can be modified by the ThisAbles.

The smart additions also will be displayed in a special area so that shoppers can view the items and see how they connect to existing products.

The full series of additions and the IKEA products that can be modified are available on the ThisAbless website along with helpful product training videos.

In addition, the ThisAbles line of products can be purchased on the MILBAT website—or people can scan the barcode of the new products to print independently in a 3D printer. This makes them readily available to people who live in other countries.

Today, according to Access Israel, over 1.6 million people—8% of the population—live with disabilities; around 700,000 of them, severe.

“I am convinced that this initiative will actually improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in Israel and around the world,” Yuval Wagner, president and founder of nonprofit Access Israel, told the Jerusalem Post.

Research contact:  #ThisAbles