IKEA Canada to Partner with Indigenous Artists for New Collection

New collection to launch Thursday in Etobicoke

This Thursday, June 8, IKEA in Etobicoke will launch the company’s first collaboration with Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, which is a Toronto-based social enterprise.

As part of the collaboration, IKEA Canada will be working with Indigenous artists to produce products out of salvaged IKEA textiles. The idea behind the collaboration is to provide more exposure for Indigenous artists in Canada, as well as to support sustainability.

The collection’s name is ÅTERSTÄLLA, which means to “restore,” “heal,” or “redecorate” in Swedish, and it’ll include baskets, aprons, tea towels, and small bags of herbs. According to IKEA’s statement, working with salvaged textiles “reflects the traditional Indigenous philosophy to ‘use everything’ and applies it to contemporary living.”

Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator’s co-founder Sage Paul added to this notion during an interview with CBC.

“In our culture, if you go hunting, we would use all parts of the animals, and we just kind of took those ideas into the kitchen. So we made all items that you can use for kitchen, food preparation, feasting,” said Paul.

However, Paul also discussed that the group of Indigenous artists involved were slightly reluctant at first approach.

“We went in with our guard up because of cultural appropriation and exploiting Indigenous people and Indigenous women specifically,” said Paul, adding that in regards to cultural appropriation they were “very upfront about it, we were very open about saying that there are certain things we don’t want to see in the collection.”

“We recognize that in our society we have a lot to learn from respecting and honouring the work of Indigenous people,” said IKEA’s sustainability manager Brendan Sale. “It’s a very timely project, and our intention is to introduce similar efforts to other locations.”

This partnership is one of hopefully many future collaborations for IKEA Canada.

Photos Courtesy of IKEA via Facebook.