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Special Project

Special Project NEW!
From the 6th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Buy Back Friday

Winner in Sustainability & Renewable Energy

About this entry


Increasing circularity is vital to sustainability. More sustainable practices are needed. 


IKEA makes durable furniture at affordable prices. It is also deeply focussed on sustainability, with a goal of becoming a circular company by 2030. 

Actions already taken includge prioritising recycled and sustainable materials, introducing energy-saving and water-saving solutions for the home and using more plant-based foods into their restaurants. 

Nevertheless, IKEA’s price-point and easy home-assembly means that it is still better known for its flat packs than for its sustainability credentials and vision.  


IKEA wanted a sustainability campaign that would make a ‘statement’ about sustainability and promote their credentials in that space. 


• Help position IKEA as a leader in sustainability, recognised for its action and commitment 

• Inspire and enable people to live more sustainably 

• Inspire and lead transformational change in the business community

Why does this entry deserve to win?


Consumers want to see brands take real action. Token gestures are scorned. Brands must demonstrate their values and make an impact on the world. 

IKEA’s statement about sustainability would have to be backed with iconic action. A one market stunt would accomplish nothing. They had to think bigger. 


On Black Friday – a day of excessive consumption - IKEA did something radical, at an unprecedented global scale...  It started buying customer’s furniture back. 

In 20 countries all over the world, from Black Friday onwards, IKEA customers could return their unwanted furniture to stores, in exchange for up to 50% of its original value. The second-hand furniture was then fixed up, displayed in-store and sold on to other customers at reduced prices. Any unsold furniture could be donated to charity or recycled, ensuring that nothing went into landfill.  (Activity built on relatively unknown local pilots in Canada and Australia).

In 20 countries around the world, IKEA adopted this game-changing approach, using Black Friday launch date for maximum attention. 

The practicalities of introducing this circularity into IKEA’s business model required big changes to their operating model: 

• New pricing models for used IKEA furniture were devised. 

• A new digital valuation tool was built and rolled out for consumers and staff, enabling purchase back and resale. 

• IKEA in-store space was adapted to accommodate the receiving, handling, presenting and selling of the second-hand goods. 

• 160,000 co-workers worldwide were onboarded through an internal program, training them on the circular economy and new business practices  An online film and TVC made the idea public and highly shareable. This then went out on owned platforms, social and to journalists and media outlets with the full press release.  Social media posts, print and outdoor pushed visibility of the initiative further.




• More than 61 000 items resold 

• 1M+ items quoted  Reach and Engagement 

• 3.7BN+ impressions  • 5,800+ total mentions (number of online news articles, blog posts, or social media posts) 

• 1,200+ mentions across news and blogs 

• 4,600+ mentions across social media 

• 88.6K+ total engagements (likes, comments, shares) 


• 1,546+ news articles have mentioned the campaign 

• 37+ countries have shared the news to date 

• Coverage was achieved across vast spread of top tier media outlets, including BBC, CNN, Reuters, AP, Fast Company, ABC News, New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Hypebeast and Bustle, to name just some.  Sentiment 

• 96% neutral to positive sentiment across online news and social media.


Video for Buy Back Friday

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Edelman, IKEA