Dutch Quirk #84: Buy everything from IKEA and then donate it to a Kringloop a year later

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We love IKEA, but we also love some Kringloop hunting. The Dutch advantage? You can probably find all IKEA furniture at Kringloop — what a plus!

If you like yourself some hip IKEA items for your place or have been eyeing a certain treasure for a while, look no further than your near and dear thrift shop, Kringloop!

No, the two stores are not affiliated in any way, however, there seems to be a Dutch pattern going on since a second-hand shop looks like a small-scale IKEA. 😵‍💫

What is it?

Who doesn’t like to shop at IKEA, c’mon, we really can’t blame Dutchies over a global sensation. The added convenience of IKEA delivery only adds to this obsession, but unfortunately, it doesn’t add to the items’ shelf life.

Then you have Kringloop, a chain of thrift shops across the Netherlands that not only compete with IKEA over prices (a €1.5 vase! that’s a steal) but with stores that pretty much look like a ripped page out of an IKEA catalogue.

Turns out, this strange relation can be explained by the supply and demand provided by the Dutch themselves! ♻️ Where they furnish their pads (floor to ceiling) from IKEA, only to donate it all to the nearest Kringloop a year later.

Why do they do it?

Convenience to the tiny Dutch space and stingy pockets. If you think about it, IKEA furniture was created for Dutch homes, with their lack of moving space, narrow doors, and steep stairs that usually doesn’t fit a couch other than an IKEA packed one through the window or off the hook.

The problem with IKEA furniture however is that, although affordable, it goes in and out of style very quickly, with materials that don’t last for long.

What do the Dutch do when the chair’s cushion is flattened over time? Drag it to the nearest Kringloop, and hit IKEA for a replacement. On the bright side, Kringloop hunters get to enjoy assembled IKEA furniture. 😉

Why is it quirky?

The balance between the sustainability of Kringloop culture and commercialism of IKEA in the Dutch society is fascinating.

A classic bakfiets from IKEA, catering to the Dutch society. Image: Donald Trung Quoc Don/Wikimedia Commons

On one hand, you got to appreciate how the Dutch hate to waste a year old furniture. Instead, Kringloop offers a second-chance to a dying table looking for a DIY.

On the other hand, you can’t help but wonder why IKEA is the go-to store when it comes to furniture that would decay in a year. 🤷‍♀️ Well, as long as it’ll our Kringloop, we’re not complaining.

Should you join in?

This one is up to you! From a personal experience, sometimes, the only store that would actually sell items small enough to fit in your tiny Dutch space is IKEA.

But we would recommend visiting Kringloop before going to IKEA, because the chances are, you’ll be able to lock your IKEA target there for a smaller price tag. 🏷️

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: DutchReview/Supplied

Farah Al Mazouni 🇸🇾 🇺🇸
Farah Al Mazouni 🇸🇾 🇺🇸
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or “welcome” to her latest adventure in this wonderland.

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