IKEA Australia has partnered with Save The Children Australia for its latest campaign to highlight the rising number of women and their children experiencing domestic and family violence, a leading cause of homelessness.  

With an activation in the IKEA Tempe store in Sydney, the ‘This is not a home’ campaign is a series of confronting realities which reveal the real-life living conditions facing thousands of Australians forced to seek shelter in places that should never have to be called a home such as a car, a tent or friend or relatives’ couch.

Through this partnership, IKEA is inviting customers to join them in taking action by making a donation to Save The Children when they shop in store or online. The funding will help ensure survivors of domestic and family violence are supported throughout their journey to long-term recovery and don’t end up homeless.

IKEA Australia sustainability manager, Renea Robson said IKEA has a responsibility to positively impact the community and societies in which it operates.

“Homelessness is on the rise in Australia – family and domestic violence being the leading cause, and women and their children being the most impacted. This led us to connect and partner with a like-minded organisation such as Save the Children, which has been a trusted partner of ours for many years through the IKEA Foundation,” she told Retailbiz.

“Historically, IKEA has had more ad-hoc community engagement plans, so we wanted this partnership – which is a three-year commitment – to be more meaningful and long-lasting to make a true difference in our communities.

“The response among co-workers in our business has been tremendous. When you work for a purpose-led brand and we come forward on topics like domestic and family violence, our team is proud to work for IKEA and see us utilise our reach and influence for good.

IKEA Australia sustainability manager, Renea Robson.

“From a customer perspective, the activation in our Tempe store is quite thought-provoking and confronting, but the reaction has been positive, and we’re seeing customers stop and engage in conversations.”

In the coming weeks, IKEA will engage in children-led design projects, providing children with design expertise and home furnishings to create a space they feel is welcoming and safe. These projects will be brought to life in refuges in Queensland.  

Save The Children CEO, Mat Tinkler believes the best partnerships are longer-term and multi-layered and the collaboration with IKEA offers true depth.

“IKEA is providing financial support to our service delivery teams working in family violence refuges in Queensland and support through their product range to help women fleeing family violence furnish their home when they find sustainable accommodation,” he told Retailbiz.

“IKEA is also working with children in design-led workshops to bring more child-friendly furnishings to refuges. This is all supported by the activation in the IKEA Tempe store to draw customers’ attention to family violence, which is the leading cause of homelessness. IKEA understands what we do as an organisation in responding to family violence and particularly the experiences of children.”

Save The Children CEO, Mat Tinkler.

While acknowledging that funding is critical to Save the Children as the charity relies on financial support, the partnership also aims to raise awareness of domestic violence as a national crisis.

“All parts of society need to play a role – it’s not the sole responsibility of governments or charities. We need large corporate organisations like IKEA that have significant brand value and connection to the public to do great things and draw attention to important issues such as domestic violence,” Tinkler said.

“From our perspective, as a child rights organisation, when you view domestic violence through the lens of a child, often children are hidden in the conversation. Although they may not be the victim of physical violence, they often suffer a significant amount of trauma, which can have lifelong impacts on their emotional development without appropriate intervention and treatment. The partnership also offers us an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of children in this crisis as well.

“Like any business, certainty is important, and we put a lot of time and effort into designing programs for children and families. From our perspective, it’s advantageous to have certainty around the sustainability of these programs over time. Any funding stream or partnership that lasts for two or three years allows us to plan, build the right capabilities and provide continuity of services to our clients.

“For me, the gold standard corporate partnership is long-term and multi-layered across product, brand, customer activation, financial support and this partnership with IKEA ticks all of those boxes. We need companies to be part of the solution and leverage everything at their disposal, such as their brand, customer base, raising awareness and providing financial support.”