IKEA to explore sustainable off-the-grid living with social business Little Sun

More than one billion people around the world live without access to electricity today. Many of them also lack easy access to clean water and reliable communications services. Teaming up with social business Little Sun, IKEA hopes to raise awareness about these issues and explore the potential of off-the-grid solutions and renewable energy, to make everyday life more sustainable.

Without access to vital resources such as energy, the structure of entire communities can be adversely affected. Education levels drop, as children cannot study after sunset. Working hours are limited to the daytime, while there’s still daylight, and income is subsequently reduced. Medical care, such as delivering babies after dark, becomes more dangerous to provide. IKEA wants to discuss the importance of energy access as well as clean water and communication tools – learning from the challenges faced by people living off the grid and from the experts committed to creating off-grid solutions with the best technology available. The collaboration aims at bringing this shared knowledge to IKEA customers, introducing them to portable solar lighting and other off-grid solutions whilst raising awareness for the global need for energy access for all. 

“By democratising great things, we can give many people access to products that make everyday life better, supporting and encouraging independent living. If we can create good, democratic design solutions, then living off the grid can become sustainable, low-cost, and will provide independence”, says Marcus Engman, Head of Design at IKEA Range and Supply.

Little Sun is a global project and social business founded by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen to bring sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy to people living without electricity in off-the-grid areas all around the world. By collaborating with IKEA, Little Sun wants to inspire and explore new ways to harness the power of the sun through intelligent and creative design. 

Together, IKEA and Little Sun want to create a series of sustainable off-the-grid tools for everyday life. Both beautiful and functional, they will be the perfect introduction to renewable energy and strengthen an independent, conscientious lifestyle. 

“Little Sun makes solar energy tangible and your world a little bit more sustainable. We are excited to collaborate with IKEA, raising awareness for energy access and the need for global togetherness. Together, we want to connect the world by sharing the power of the sun with everyone”, says Olafur Eliasson, Founder of Little Sun. 

IKEA is one brand and many companies. Around the globe, a large number of companies operate under the IKEA trademarks. IKEA Range & Supply, consisting of IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult and IKEA Supply, have the responsibility to develop, design, produce, and supply IKEA stores around the world with home furnishing solutions. Each year, IKEA Range & Supply introduces 2,000 new products to IKEA stores. The total range comprises almost 10,000 products.

Little Sun is a global project and social business that connects the world by sharing the sustainable energy of the sun. Launched by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun puts the power of the sun in the palm of your hand – creating safe, convenient, sustainable light and energy solutions you can take with you wherever you go. Every Little Sun sold brings clean, reliable, affordable light to people living in areas without electricity, where Little Sun works with sales agents on the ground to strengthen local communities from the inside.