IKEA x Greyhound: Sammankoppla collection inspired by small living spaces and sustainable fabrics
IKEA goes street
When IKEA tapped on Thai fashion brand Greyhound for an unlikely collab for one of their serendipitous "Speedboat projects", they knew the result was going to be significantly different from what the masses would expect from the Swedish home goods brand. And that was exactly the point. To have a storied name like Greyhound that first emerged in 1980 as a fashion brand turned food and beverage empire, design a special collection adhering to a few crucial requirements: sustainability (no surprise there), crafted in an Asian accent, and made for small living spaces.
For Greyhound, it wasn't a simple task. Prior to that, they've never delved into home furnishings — to which it was an ardrous process that spanned over three years. Which all paid off as the limited collection, titled Sammankoppla, finally debuts. "We're proud to be working with IKEA, and at the same time, we are very happy that we can introduce Thai living style in a modern and contemporary way to the world through IKEA. They allowed us to be ourselves most of the time. They gave us the brief, and then they said "It's you. You have to do it your way. Because if you don't, it will end up looking like IKEA," said co-founder of Greyhound, Bhanu Inkawat, in a virtual call we had last week.
The line features straw mats, triangle cushions, dewy lamps, and other paraphernalia that have been created in flexibility and variety for anyone living in a small home. More importantly, it expresses the Thai ethos of life — whether it be through traditional shapes or common sightings you see on the streets of Bangkok. Below, Inkawat shares more about the vision, the process, and how the Sammankoppla collection can spruce up your everyday living.
How would you define Greyhound's style?
Greyhound is a brand that loves the basic, simple things in life. But at the same time, we believe that basic doesn't have to be boring. Simple doesn't have to be boring. So we add in creativity and art to everything we do, turning normal everyday living into something creative and fashionable. Greyhound is all about being basic with a twist. So everything we do — the food we design, the menus we design, the restaurants we design, the clothes that we design, it's all based on that.
Who is Sammankoppla designed for?
Well, that's part of the task that they gave us when we started the project. IKEA said that we have to tackle this issue of small space living, which is a growing trend in urban living everywhere around the world today. So with the small limited space, how do you make the best use of it? Flexibility is one thing — so that you can move things around and also mix and match things together. It's also about fixing existing things, especially with customers who enjoy Greyhound's design and customers of IKEA who are young at heart and love to explore and move things around. They wake up and suddenly they want to have a new room by just moving things around. So that's the idea behind this collection. We don't want to have everything fixed and have the same old thing everyday, but we want for you to use your imagination, use your creativity, to shuffle things and wake up with a new room.
Let's talk about the sustainability element of the collection. How did you guys manage it?
IKEA is very concerned about how their products are relevant to the consumer, how they are relevant to the movement of the world. Like sustainability. When we started working on certain things like the straw mat, which is derived from the old handicraft of real Thai straw mats which are made by hand, we had to make this particular one from recycled plastic — specifically from straws, as they are one of the biggest environmental problems of the world. We went to this factory that specialises in recycled plastic from straws. And for us, instead of just putting one pattern onto this straw mat, it had to be four different graphics pressing into one mat in Greyhound style. The factory really had a headache dealing with that, but we insisted that that’s part of our design and IKEA really helped us with that.
Do you have any styling tips for the collection?
There are no main pieces like big sofas or big cupboards in this collection. There are small pieces that are more like spices to make your life more fun and interesting. So mix and match. Don't be afraid to mix and match. Just throw in whatever you like, buy a few pieces, and add to your room, and make it alive.
Above, click through the collection and learn about how each and every product is shaped and moulded in the vein of Thai living.