Some Ikea fans experienced a shock recently when the furniture company announced it was discontinuing its extremely popular Expedit series of shelves. The modular system can be mixed, matched, stacked, and combined with drawers and even desks. Upon hearing the news, fans of the shelves took to Facebook and Twitter to express their outrage, with one online group demanding Ikea reconsider its decision reaching over 20,000 members. What many Expedit-lovers seem to have missed in the commotion is a second announcement by Ikea that it’s replacing the shelves with a new line, the Kallax.

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The Kallax is nearly identical to the Expedit – it will maintain the same internal dimensions and use the same internal fittings. There’s just one major difference: the wood that makes up the outer edge of the design is going to be slimmed down. Ikea says the new shelves will also be more scratch-resistant and will have a slight corner bevel to make them safer around children. In the end, this “discontinued” shelf is merely being redesigned and rebranded.

So why is Ikea going to all this trouble (and negative publicity) just to shave a few centimeters off the dimensions of their shelves? It comes down to a matter of volume — Ikea uses 17.8 million cubic yards of wood a year, or a full one percent of the world’s wood supply. When selling tens of millions of bookcases a year, that adds up. The change in design won’t just save Ikea money when it comes to manufacturing; it will also help the company create more sustainable products that are better for the planet. Of course, if you’re worried about how the new system will look in your home, you can always use Ikea’s new augmented reality catalog to try out the new design.

Via Gizmodo

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