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These Ikea lampshades and rugs will ensure better air for north India

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Jul 18, 2019
Ikea's collection

The soon-to-be launched collection is made from rice straws burned by farmers resulting in air pollution


Forandring means ‘change’ in Swedish, and that is what Ikea is trying to bring through the new initiatives the brand is launching this year. One of their key projects is the Better Air Now initiative that aims to create a model on how to reduce air pollution in crop burning regions of the world. Such as India.

As part of this, Ikea recently launched the prototype collection ‘Forandring’ from India at the Democratic Design Days 2019 held in the brand’s birthplace Almhult, Sweden. “We wanted to look at the root causes of the smog in north India, and crop burning was one. And at Ikea we are always looking for renewable materials,” says Mia Olsson, Country Communication & Interior Manager, Ikea India.


Akanksha Deo, in-house designer for the brand in India, got the brief that for this collection honouring the material is extremely important. In this case, the material is the rice straws that would otherwise be burned by the farmers leading to the terrible air quality that northern India suffers. “It was important for me to understand the material and what you can do with it. We wanted to celebrate the material and enhance it, not hide it,” says Deo, who having grown up in New Delhi has first-hand seen the vast change in the city’s air quality. “You can’t see the stars in the sky anymore, and that’s scary.”

For the rugs, in the warp, Deo used cotton to make it durable. “The idea was to find the right balance between the hero and the complementary material to push it forward to make it a real product.” The collection, which launches in Autumn this year, comprises rugs, mats, lampshades and other small home décor pieces in shades of grey and blue. “Grey and black is the colour of the air now and blue denotes our aspiration for clear skies. We made a conscious decision of choosing these colours because as a team we were trying to find the best expression for the idea of this collection,” adds Deo.

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