Welp, this news may be hard to swallow: According to the World Health Organization, 4.2 million deaths per year are due to exposure to air pollution, and 90 percent of people on our planet breathe in polluted air. Every small step towards cleaner air counts, and now, IKEA is stepping up to make our world a better place—starting with curtains.
IKEA has just announced the GUNRID air-purifying curtain, which uses unique technology that mimics the process of photosynthesis used in plants to convert CO2 to oxygen. To do this, IKEA product developers applied a photocatalyst to the fabric. When the fabric comes in with light—indoor and outdoor lighting—it breaks down indoor pollutants, like odors and formaldehyde. The GUNRID technology isn't just exclusive to curtains—the technology can be applied to any kind of textile.
“Besides enabling people to breathe better air at home, we hope that GUNRID will increase people’s awareness of indoor air pollution, inspiring behavioral changes that contribute to a world of clean air,” said Lena Pripp-Kovac, Head of Sustainability at Inter IKEA Group, in a press release. “GUNRID is the first product to use the technology, but the development will give us opportunities for future applications on other textiles.”
IKEA's interest in clearing the air didn't just start with these curtains—the company has been reducing their air emissions and phasing out the use of hazardous chemicals, along with an initiative called Better Air Now! that was launched last year. It aims to turn rice straw—a residue from rice harvesting that's usually burned, which contributes to air pollution—into a renewable material for IKEA products.
“We know that there is no single solution to solve air pollution. We work long term for positive change, to enable people to live healthier and more sustainable lives,” said Pripp-Kovac.
The GUNRID curtains will be available at IKEA next year.
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