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IKEA partners with DV charity RizeUp

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Customers who return their preloved IKEA products to the store over the next two weeks will simultaneously be helping DV victims. Here’s how it will work.

IKEA customers are being encouraged to return their preloved products through its transformed buy-back service over the next two weeks in a move intended to help victim survivors of domestic and family violence.

The international home furnishing company will launch its new “Buy-back Move Forward” initiative from April 7, in partnership with community-driven charity RizeUp, which provides support to affected families.

Through IKEA’s buy-back scheme, customers who return their used products receive an IKEA refund card, with the customer’s refund amount matched and donated to the charity until April 21.

During the campaign, customers who refund their used goods will also be given the chance to donate all or part of their IKEA refund card to the charity.

IKEA Australia’s sustainability manager, Mellisa Hamilton, said the company wanted to create a better everyday life for people and has learnt the workplace has an important role to play.

She said the company hoped there was a bigger take up of the buy-back service during the campaign period.

According to Ms Hamilton, more than 10,000 articles had been returned through the service, which was rolled out to all Australian stores in 2020.

She said about 100 tonnes of landfill were diverted in the first year of its inception and that figure increased each year.

Ms Hamilton said about 80 per cent of items which came through the buy-back scheme were purchased within 72 hours of being returned.

“It shows there is a very big market for people who are looking for preloved items,” she said.

“They tend to be in really good condition most of the time, so that’s why it’s a popular service.”

RizeUp chief Nicolle Edwards said leaving a violent relationship took much courage, but one of the biggest challenges was a lack of resources.

She said those in the sector saw children sleeping on the floor without blankets, a dining table or anything to sit on and led to many women going back to the place of violence because it was easier than starting again with nothing.

However, Ms Edwards said the money donated from IKEA would help victim survivors begin their new lives and set up their new homes.

“We’re providing them more than a coffee table or pillow … These are symbols of freedom, hope and new beginnings,” she said.

“Through the incredible generosity of the broader community, it’s really helping us reach even more families and start breaking the cycle of violence by giving them this practical resource.

“It’s important to know that the people who are experiencing (domestic and family violence) right now are not alone and there are lots of services available to help.”

The charity has helped more than 1700 families across the nation and used IKEA as a supplier to furnish victim survivors’ homes.

It comes as the company made policy changes, offering 15 days’ paid leave for staff experiencing domestic and violence, two days’ paid leave for workers supporting family members in that scenario, implementing a tailored safety plan, and training and education programs for managers and co-workers.

IKEA Australia’s retail manager and chief sustainability officer, Mirja Viinanen, sent a letter to the company’s 4000-odd employees advising them of the changes.

“With this issue impacting so many people across Australia, we know it is likely there will be co-workers who know someone who is experiencing domestic or family violence, or will be impacted themselves,” she said.

“With domestic and family violence usually manifesting at home, we believe IKEA has a responsibility to help address this critical issue.”



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