Ikea repurposes old uniforms into new lifestyle collection

Over the past years, we’ve “stanned” brands that not only uses sustainable materials but are also able to upcycle and recycle materials to create new products. We’ve become conscious about how we consume things (well, hopefully, we’ve actually become conscious of it) and how this consumption culture affects this planet we’re living in. Ikea is trying to capture our hearts by creating a new lifestyle line created from materials that they themselves had to discard.

Designer: Ikea

The Swedish brand will be launching their newest collection called VÄXELBRUK which is uniquely made from their recycled coworker uniforms that were discarded when they introduced new attire back in 2020. So instead of just throwing these old uniforms into the trash heaps, they came up with new products that were made from 300 tonnes of these “useless” IKEA uniforms. If you’re not a fan of yellow and blue though, you might want to look elsewhere, even though they managed to tone down the colors considerably without dyeing the textile, which can be more expensive and resource-intensive.

The collection features 16 textile-based items that use the aforementioned old uniforms. This includes things like throw pillows, bags, cushion covers, and even curtains. They are not entirely made from the uniform textile though as they are blended with other recycled materials like polyester from used PET bottles. They also even included some of the “faulty” new uniforms so they will also not go to waste. The inclusion of other materials also helped to alter the colors that are normally so bright.

If you didn’t know that they were made from discarded co-worker uniforms, you’ll just think they’re normal Ikea products that use the iconic colors of the brand. But knowing there they come from makes it even more interesting. The VÄXELBRUK (which means interchangeable use in the Swedish language) collection will be released in February 2024 across Europe stores.