JAPAN - Ikea has undertaken a new business venture: renting out and buying back their own furniture.
 
In an effort to become more environmentally-friendly, the buyback experiment - being tested in Japan - is designed to allow Ikea to recycle furniture that would otherwise be destined for the landfill. The rental experiment aims to appeal to customers who aren't ready to spend lots of money on new furniture.
 
“If the last decades were about mass consumerism, now we are getting towards mass circularity,” said Jesper Brodin at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week. Brodin explained that the new experiments are part of a more eco-conscious business approach that re-envisions the lifecycle of Ikea furniture as a loop - not a straight line.
 
“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.”
 
Ikea purchased the online, on-demand service provider TaskRabbit late last year. Ikea envisions its customers will utilize TaskRabbit, which lets users hire people to help them move, clean up, or provide a service, to assemble its furniture.

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