Could the next generation of sustainable materials be growing right in front of us? IKEA is exploring forgotten organic materials for a new bedroom collection that engages the senses called HJÄRTELIG.
The thrill of turning something useless into gold is deeply rooted in the IKEA DNA — and in Creative Leader Michael Nikolic’s quest for finding sustainable materials.
“For me, it’s often about finding new materials that are not petroleum based. Or taking waste like the banana fibre and turning it into weaving material,” he says.
Perfect, then, that he was tasked with leading the development of HJÄRTELIG, a new bedroom collection that uses natural materials, such as rattan, linen, better cotton, cork and solid pine. For example, while traditionally linen fabric is made using only the top of the linen straw, IKEA is exploring a new technique that makes it possible to also use the crude stem below. And the seagrass boxes in the collection are made from old seagrass found floating in rivers in Vietnam.
For sustainability and tranquility
It’s not just the source and appearance of these natural materials that are important. It’s also the texture and scent. In fact, the design team has visited Paris to meet with the world’s leading producer of scents and flavours, Givaudan, to get an introduction to the science of scents, find inspiration on what possibilities the future might hold when it comes to creating room ambience.
The team behind HJÄRTELIG is applying that thinking to using materials that engage all the senses and create atmosphere in the bedroom — in multifunctional beds for sound sleeping, yoga equipment for mindful workouts, air purifying house plants for high-quality air and tea light holders for a serene, calming ambience.
Small steps can lead to a big difference
Using alternative materials challenges the industry to think in new ways, which aligns perfectly with limited collections that are made in smaller quantities and are all about experimenting with new innovations and materials.
“To be able to use the material industrially in enough quantities, we need to start on a small scale, leading the way for others and supporting the build of such a supply chain," he says.
HJÄRTELIG collection will be available for a limited time starting in April 2018.
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