We had to kill the earth in order to save it.
Ahh, 2019. Can you still remember it?
International travel was unrestrained. Instagram surf personalities hadn’t assumed their new roles as medical practitioners. The left/right political dichotomy was not yet fully redundant. Tongue kissing strangers in the street was still ok.
Did it really even happen?
Wisps of memory of life pre-Covid persist, though they quickly recede in our mind like some fevered dream. So you’d easily be forgiven for not recalling the partnership between the WSL and Nordic furniture giant IKEA announced back in June of that year.
It was a weird match.
Like Red Cross teaming up with Jack Daniels.
Or Kanye West with Marilyn Manson.
But this was our world back then.
Unbridled positivity. Anything was possible, if two profit-driven corporate bodies could put their mind to it.
Here’s a refresher:
“With around 70% of its surface covered by oceans, Earth is rightly known as the blue planet. The ocean is a major producer in the oxygen we breathe, making it a crucial part of our everyday life regardless of where we live. IKEA is teaming up with WSL to better understand the everyday life of people that have a mobile and active way of living in close rhythm with the ocean. There are 370 million people across the world interested in surfing and more than 40 million active surfers. No sport relies on the ocean as much as surfing, which is why sustainability and protecting the ocean are naturally important to surfers.”
So went the breathless press release, still quoting WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt (“We’re looking forward to working with IKEA on a product collaboration around plastic using ocean-bound plastic”).
But since the announcement there had been very little mention of the exciting collaboration.
No updates from Erik. No TikToks.
Three hundred and seventy million surfing interested persons had, presumably, turned their interest to more pressing issues.
Partnership canned. Gone to dust like so many other pre-covid plans.
But we were wrong. Boy, were we wrong.
Like some flat-packed Lazarus, the collab nobody ever asked for has risen again, just in time for Trestles.
Landing in the inboxes of surf industry leeches this week was an invite for a sneak peek at the new WSL x IKEA range, to coincide with the Fina Series at Trestles.
“Join world champions Italo Ferriera and Carissa Moore for an exclusive look at this surf-centric collection.”
It’s obvious when you think about it.
A dedicated team spending more than two years in deep R&D. Secreted away from the societal collapse the rest of us have been subjected to. Studying the everyday life of people that have a mobile and active way of living in close rhythm with the ocean.
Keen little Swedish hands beavering away with a million allen keys to produce a range of indispensable surf-adjacent products, feat. ocean bound plastics where possible, for our eager consumption.
The Earth weeps with joy. Oceans saved etc, and all thanks to disposable furniture made in China and low-labour cost eastern European countries, Romania etc.
But seriously, wtf kind of ‘surf-centric’ product is Ikea going to come up with?
Hoping my long-suggested shoe horn/toilet brush invention makes the cut.