Self-care. It’s now an $11 billion industry that peddles everything from Marie Kondo tutorials on folding socks to Goop’s organic self-tanning lotion. And now, Ikea wants a piece of this impossibly broad lifestyle trend.
The new Tänkvärd collection, which will debut in stores in April, is dedicated to self-care. “It’s about going back to basic human needs through furniture and textiles,” writes Ikea. It features the company’s first kimono ($25), which Ikea describes as “a garment that you wear that is also connected to the home, especially the bed and bathroom.” It additionally features a rattan bench ($129), which the company dramatically describes as a “place for rest. A place for slipping off your shoes as you settle in for the night. A place that represents calm and ease.”
Ikea made a flat pack bench sound like The Giving Tree.
In a similar vein, the company is also debuting a new line of Hemnes bathroom furniture, which has been elevated to something more by Ikea’s marketing department: “IKEA invited people who normally don’t work with product development to co-create and find new and unexpected solutions. The question, ‘What do you need in the bathroom to make it more convenient and better organized?’ sparked the development of four new products,” the announcement explains. The company’s use of co-creation here hints at a major theme for Ikea as it delves into partnerships with outside designers and companies. Despite all that, the white-painted, vaguely beachy bathroom fixtures looks extremely typical of what you might find at Ikea or Pottery Barn.
“It’s about creating a balance between leading a modern life and being in touch with nature–embracing slow living and living with intent,” says Ikea of these new lines. Okay! But the push into self-care mostly seems to be about Ikea–facing waning profits–figuring out a new way into our lives other than there mere promise of elevated dorm room furniture. And heck, self-care is fueled by so much dumb money that it makes furniture look like a downright prudent investment. This just might work.