IKEA has partnered with Reform Studios to create a range of products using textiles made from recycled food packaging.

Reform Studios has produced a new textile for IKEA that is made from the food packaging often found on chocolate bars and chip packets. This multi-layered aluminium and plastic packaging is ideal for keeping food fresh, however when weaved using a traditional Egyptian technique, it can also be used to create a robust material. 

The designers showcased their textile by producing a new version of IKEA’s iconic Frakta bag – the familiar blue shopping bags used for transporting IKEA goods to the home. Their prototype was made from the equivalent of 32 chip packets, proving the versatility and durability of this new material. As part of IKEA’s OVERALLT collection, to be launched in March 2019, Reform Studios will feature their woven textiles in a range of products including rugs, cushions and bags.

Reform Studio, based in Egypt, is best known for their first fabric Plastex, which is made from discarded plastic bags. The plastic yarn is weaved using an Egyptian handloom, a tradition which has experienced decline in recent years.

Why you should care

Chip packets are part of a group of multi-layer packaging materials that are particularly problematic. They are typically composed of around seven layers of both plastic and aluminium, which alone are easily recyclable, but impossible when layered together. Creating new products from this waste that utilise their strength and longevity could be a way to reduce the environmental footprint of the material.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Decent work and economic growth

The partnership with Reform Studio is part of IKEA’s OVERALLT collection, helping to foster entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in small businesses in developing countries.

Responsible consumption and production

IKEA estimates that the equivalent of 32 chips packets go into one Frakta bag, repurposing materials that would otherwise go to waste.