IKEA, the world’s leading multichannel home furnishings retailer has unveiled a new limited-edition collection named HANTVERK, meaning ‘handicraft’ in Swedish.
HANTVERK consists of cushion covers, throws, baskets, bowls, vases and more, all in natural sustainable materials like banana fibre, handmade paper, ceramic and cotton. For this, IKEA collaborated with various social enterprises based in India, Thailand and Jordan, all adding their unique touch to the products. Inspired by Scandinavian design aesthetics and designed by Iina Vuorivirta, the handicrafts tell the story of successful collaboration, niftiness, great quality, and life-changing new opportunities for the social entrepreneurs who worked on this collection, 85 per cent of which are women.
The social entrepreneurs that IKEA collaborated with to create HANTVERK have several business ideas that are based on creating jobs in regions where they are most needed, and for people that need them the most. Through partnerships with social entrepreneurs, the company does not only get a chance to create jobs but contribute to increased inclusion, equality and women’s empowerment.
Speaking on this collaboration, Mia Olsson, Communication & Interiors Manager at IKEA India added, “We are delighted to launch HANTVERK in India. The collection has helped us create sustainable livelihoods and provide economic empowerment to the local communities that we operate in. If we can be part of making social business mainstream and sustainable in the long run, it’s fantastic. IKEA actively collaborates with skilled artisans from social entrepreneurs regularly because it not only brings the modern and the traditional together but helps us to create a direct connect with our local customers, who have shown much interest in our Swe-desi (Swedish and Indian) range of products.”
In India, IKEA has collaborated with Industree Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Bengaluru which builds sustainable livelihoods in the creative manufacturing sector and Rangsutra, a non-profit organization that works to bridge the gap between rural artisans and global consumers in order to develop sustainable livelihoods and revive India’s rich craft heritage.
Industree has worked on the beautiful, handwoven baskets made of sustainable banana fibres and are priced at INR 399/-, INR 499/- and INR 599/-. The Indian range inspired by the traditional Scandinavian birch bark baskets are handmade by Kavitha Nagaraj, a basket weaving artisan working for Industree.
Rangsutra, on the other hand, has worked on handmade cushion covers which come with an interplay of warm earthy shades of red, blue and white. The cushion covers are priced at INR 799/- and INR 899/-
Neelam Chhibber, Co-Founder & Managing Trustee at Industree Foundation said, “It’s a great opportunity to work alongside IKEA in creating such beautiful collections. We got to work with an IKEA designer to come up with these unique products. This collaboration has helped our artisans to grow and earn a livelihood for themselves, which makes them financially independent. With IKEA we have had a long-term association, this being the seventh collaborative collection. The best part about HANTVERK is how we got to marry modern Scandinavian design aesthetics with local Indian manufacturing sensibilities.”
Sumita Ghose – Founder and Managing Director, Rangsutra, said, “The Hantverk collection enabled the handloom weavers and women artisans to get the much-needed work in their own villages. It was also an encouragement for other artisans who showed increased interest in working at the village centres instead of migrating to the city in search of work. The artisans feel proud and happy that products made by them are reaching homes around the world.”
Since 2013, more than 20,000 artisans and small-scale farm holders get a steady income through collaborations with IKEA. Over 5,100 people are involved in the production, creating the handcrafted products sold at IKEA – HANTVERK as well as INNEHÅLLSRIK cushion covers and HEMGJORD banana fibre tray.
HANTVERK also features products created by Doi Tung DP from Thailand and the Jordan River Foundation from Jordan. The collection will be available at the Hyderabad store from November 06th onwards.