IKEA accelerates transformation towards recycled polyester

In 2019, IKEA announced the goal to convert all virgin polyester into recycled in textile products by the end of 2020. Replacing all virgin polyester with recycled is an important step on the way to transforming into a circular business and fulfilling the goal to use only recycled or renewable materials by 2030. With the milestone of having reached 90% for textile products in 2020, IKEA will accelerate the transformation towards the aim of only using recycled polyester throughout the product range.  

At the end of 2020 IKEA converted approximately 100 000 metric tonnes from virgin polyester to recycled within textile products. These volumes put IKEA as one of the industry leaders in converting virgin to recycled polyester in terms of volume.

 “We knew that ending our dependency on virgin polyester in the textile range by 2020 was a bold ambition. Although we have not yet reached 100%, we have made a great leap forward. We continue our journey to end the dependency on virgin polyester, focusing our efforts on the range segment where conversion will have the biggest impact” says Nils Månsson, Material & Innovation Deployment Leader at IKEA of Sweden.

Polyester is one of the most widely used fibres in the world, accounting for roughly half of the fibre market overall and about 80% of all synthetic fibres.  IKEA is committed to using its size and influence to drive a positive change in the industry by inspiring others to follow in the shift to recycled materials, as well as enabling a more sustainable life at home.

IKEA is committed to ending the dependency on virgin fossil materials and use only renewable or recycled materials by 2030.  Based on calculations, IKEA has estimated that the amount of virgin polyester replaced with recycled in 2020, enabled the reduction of CO2 emissions of the polyester used by 45%. This reduction amounts to approximately 150 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which equals the yearly emissions from 61 000 cars.

“With our size and volume, we know that our decisions can inspire and motivate whole industries to change. By replacing all virgin polyester with recycled in our production, we decrease our carbon footprint for polyester by half[6] and hopefully make recycled materials the new normal. Offering sustainable products at affordable prices will be key in our journey to becoming climate positive and circular. The choice for the customer should never be between sustainability and low price.” says Caroline McGarvey, Sustainability Manager, Category area Comfort at IKEA of Sweden.

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