Rising like a rainbow
A few colours, music and a bit of heart can help us connect with others in more ways than we can imagine. IKEA co-worker Shin Suzuki did precisely that. He put his heart into creating a combination of rainbow colours and ENEBY speakers to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. What he created in 2019 will soon be available in IKEA stores for customers to take home and take pride in who we are.
It was two years ago when Shin participated in the Tokyo Rainbow Pride, along with 30-40 other IKEA co-workers. But he didn’t want just to march; he wanted something symbolic in his hands to reflect two things that are important to him – his support for the LGBTQ+ community and love for IKEA.
So, he came up with a unique solution. He took two portable ENEBY speakers and pasted thin cloth stripes of different colours on them, giving the speakers beautiful rainbow fronts. The symbolism he was aspiring for became a reality. The rainbow front was a perfect fit for the pride event!
“I wanted to hold an IKEA product. We had just started selling ENEBY in Japan. It is portable, and with the rainbow textile fronts, it was eye-catching, with a symbolic value. I have been to several parades; it helps to have a sound,” says Shin, who is an online performance specialist with IKEA Japan.
Shin has been working with IKEA for 13 years.
Shin’s very own rainbow front for ENEBY that he brought to the Tokyo Rainbow Pride.
April will be memorable for Shin. The rainbow front for ENEBY he fixed up in 2019 will be sold in 33 IKEA markets for a short period of time. The new rainbow front will be sold separately and can be used on existing ENEBY speakers to give them a new, colourful look. The ENEBY speakers currently have black, white and soft fabric fronts.
“It’s surprising, engaging, and brings me a lot of happiness. I thought it was just an idea. I am amazed by IKEA taking it seriously. Wow! IKEA is taking an idea from me!” says Shin.
Togetherness & Inclusion
Many years ago, our founder Ingvar Kamprad said – “IKEA is not the work of one person alone; it is the result of many minds and many souls working together through many years of joy and hard work.”
Togetherness is at the heart of the IKEA culture, and we believe everyone has the right to be treated fairly and get equal opportunities. Who we share our life and home with is our choice.
The ENEBY rainbow front reflects that.
“We believe it is important to break the silence and promote equality, and human rights. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and get equal opportunities, whatever their personal relationship orientation or gender identity. We live by this value every day at IKEA,” says Tess Donnelly, Competence Development Leader at IKEA.
Tess Donnelly, Competence Development Leader at IKEA.
Why are inclusion and equality so important to IKEA?
“We believe that together we are stronger. We become richer individually by working with people from all over the world, from all walks of life, which is good for the business too. We want to create a better life at home. That means putting lots of perspectives in the pot, and what does that mean for different people in the world,” says Tess.
“We’re inclusive of all people because we want to have a positive impact on people and planet, and their lives. It’s a part of our history, and we want to provide equal opportunities to the many people to create a decent home life.”
Does inclusion have an impact on the business?
“We all have a role to play. By bringing in all these different perspectives, we can reach many more of the many people. When we work for equality, it connects us to our customers in a way that we wouldn’t otherwise.”
The ENEBY Rainbow front will launch on 1 April in selected markets for a limited time. The STORSTOMMA rainbow bag that IKEA launched in 2019 to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), continues to be available in a vast majority of IKEA Markets.