Surfing in new turf

IKEA might be a grom when it comes to surfing experience, but teaming up with World Surf League and their community of surfers might change that. Or at least give a good understanding of what it´s like to live an active life in and around water. Because that´s what this new collaboration is about – exploring life around water to come up with new solutions for an active lifestyle and mobile living while at the same time contribute to cleaner oceans.

If plastic continues to spread at the same pace as now, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans in 2050. Both IKEA and World Surf League (WSL) are engaged in this topic and want to contribute with solutions. James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA of Sweden, explains how it all started.

“It was clear that IKEA and WSL share the same passion for a better planet and cleaner oceans. So after talking to each other, it made perfect sense to do something together around this topic and bring our different expertise to the table. As a surfer you unfortunately have a firsthand experience of what plastic does to the ocean. At IKEA, we´re on a journey to turn ocean-bound plastic and ocean plastic into products. So, together we can hopefully bring both attention to the topic and turn some of the plastic pollutions into cool products”.

With about 35 million active surfers and 370 million people in the surfing community around the world, there is a big group of people for IKEA to learn from when it comes to everyday life in and around water. Doing life visits, where IKEA designers and product developers follow the everyday life and flow of a surfer, will be an important part of the learning and product development in this collaboration. IKEA is curious to study and understand what it takes when your life is lived on the go, in small places like camper vans or tents and with water and sand as part of your interior.

“We want to get a holistic approach towards life in and around the oceans, and what’s better than learning from surfers then? They have an active lifestyle, live in confined spaces and can show and share with us what challenges they face and what frustrations they face with this lifestyle”, says James Futcher.

The oceans of the world take up 70 per cent of the surface and produce the majority of the oxygen we breathe and need to stay alive. It goes without saying, it’s essential to hold the sometimes forgotten lungs of the world, clean. The new collaboration with WSF goes hand in hand with other purposeful sustainability efforts from IKEA, such as removing all single-use plastic products from the range by 2020.

“We are truly excited about this partnership. We know that the world is under threat from climate change, plastics in the seas and several other issues. Partnering up with others that share our concerns and wants to step up and do something about the situation is very important to us. We want to spread our story of going to the coastline every day and living by the sea and see how this can be used at IKEA”, says Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO at World Surf League.