This Ikea circular economy design and product redesign utilized insights distilled from the e-waste downstream to redesign Ikea's global supply chain and serve as a model for what an in-house circular economy could look like.
Design Strategy | Competitive Landscaping | User Research | Content Photography | Strategy | Product Design | Design Strategy | Story Boarding and Illustration
Homeboy Electronics Recycling
Solution: Use a product take-back system to create engaging customer experiences and build brand loyalty, while cutting down on waste and emissions.
Problem: Companies only address the front end of a product's life cycle, leaving e-recyclers to tackle impossible volumes of electronic waste.
Understanding the issue
Problems and Solutions
Problem: Ikea uses band-aid fixes for a bigger environmental problem
Solution: Make Ikea the leading example for sustainability and create an engaging user experience
Problem: Electronic parts are difficult to disassemble
Solution: Make recycling e-waste as easy, visible, and transparent as possible
Problem: Mass production treated as a one-way system
Solution: Reduce impact from materials used in the product and extend the usage of the material
Measuring Current Product Impact
Product contains extraneous amount of different materials and lengthy disassembly time.
Highest impact steamed from material extraction, refining, and processing as well as disposal
Opportunities for improvement:
Design Solution: Redesigned Ikea charging Docka made from closed-loop materials and interacted product return experience.
Current Linear Life Cycle
New Circular Life Cycle
Recycling as Branding
Recycling as branding makes a material logo that is familiar yet unique to the product.
Standardized polypropylene materials enables closed
Designed for disassembly
+ Labeled parts
+ Special tool open tabs
+ Disassembly area
+ 100% recyclable
Product return station
By giving reward point when users return electronics, it encourages consumers to participate in the system and raises brand loyalty
Improving upon the existing return system:
Keep the existing recycling center at the exit, but add a return product area at the store entrance.
By integrating material with a line of furniture, the amount and variety of material can be reduced.
Old Product Life Cycle Analysis:
New Product Life Cycle Analysis:
+ Circular economy are normalized to
+ Less materials extracted
+ Less waste
+ Smaller carbon footprint from
+ Smaller shipping footprint
+ Almost 100% recyclable