News / Toronto

Ikea partners with Indigenous artists for new collection

The collection will officially launch at Toronto's Etobicoke Ikea store, the first stop in what’s expected to be a growing partnership with Indigenous artists across the country.

Sage (left) and Skye Paul are members of the Setsun? Indigenous Fashion Incubator that’s launching a line in IKEA this week.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

Sage (left) and Skye Paul are members of the Setsun? Indigenous Fashion Incubator that’s launching a line in IKEA this week.

In addition to all the Ektorps, Dagarns and Samtids, you’ll soon be able to find a special textile collection from local Indigenous artists at Ikea.

ÅTERSTÄLLA — which means “restore” in Swedish – consists of 2,000 handmade fabric products such as aprons, baskets, tea towels and small bags for herbs and medicine. The collection will officially launch this Thursday at Toronto's Etobicoke Ikea store, the first stop in what’s expected to be a growing partnership with Indigenous artists across the country.

“This is really exciting for us,” said Sage Paul, co-founder of Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator, a Toronto enterprise that fosters artists working in fashion, textiles and crafts. “We created a collection that was around food, feasting and eating, traditional Indigenous philosophy around using everything and not allowing things to go to waste.”

Five artists worked on the design and production of the items, exclusively using salvaged textiles destined for the landfill. The collaboration is an opportunity for Indigenous artists to increase the visibility of their work, Paul said.

It’s also a way to showcase Indigenous culture in urban setting, she added.

“Indigenous people have been silenced for a long time in our history,” she said. “These kinds of collaborations are important for our voices to be heard and to build relationships about reconciliation and reciprocation.”

Ikea’s sustainability manager Brendan Sale said these types of collaborations exist in their Denmark and Holland markets, part of the retailer’s goal to encourage sustainability and put a spotlight on social initiatives.

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

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