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Newspaper front page with 'The Good News #29' written on it, on an orange background
October, 2020

The Good News #29

We always knew it would end in tiers… Fortunately, whichever tier you might find yourself in, there’s still plenty of good news from organisations taking innovative strides to make the world a slightly better place.

IKEA will buy back your Billy bookcase

IKEA is taking tangible steps to becoming a sustainable business. The global brand is using its scale and resources to drive change and to inspire millions of customers to live a better life within the limits of our planet.

On 27th November aka the dreaded Black Friday, IKEA will buck the trend and launch its latest sustainability scheme which will allow customers in the UK to sell their unwanted IKEA furniture back to the company in return for an IKEA voucher.

IKEA will then sell furniture returned via its Buy Back scheme as second-hand in its stores. This will not only give its products a second life, but also dramatically reduce waste and offer customers an easy and affordable way to live more sustainably.

If you’ve grown tired of your MALM chest of drawers, you can visit IKEA’s website and fill in an online form about the items you want to sell back. You’ll get an automatic preliminary offer for your products, which depending on the condition of your furniture can be up to 50% of its original price. However, it’s worth noting that some items aren’t eligible! To claim your IKEA voucher, you’ll need to take your items to the Returns and Exchanges desk at your nearest store, fully assembled, where a member of staff will check it to confirm the amount of the online offer. The vouchers you receive have no expiry date, for you to blow on a Billy bookcase whenever you fancy.

The Buy Back scheme is part of IKEA’s plan to become a circular and climate positive business by 2030. It’s really exciting to see a giant of the retail sector take a bold move for sustainability, preventing people from throwing away old furniture while also allowing those strapped for cash to pick up a bargain.

People browsing in a large room filled with a variety of sofas

Hum to search

Google has launched a brand-new feature allowing people to hunt down songs they can’t identifying by humming, whistling or singing the tune through the company’s search app.

If you have an Android phone you can also use Google Assistant to do the same thing.

Users simply have to tap the mic icon on the Google app or Google Search widget and say, “what’s thing song?” or “search the song,” then hum (or sing or whistle…) for 10-15 seconds. Google’s machine learning algorithm helps to identify potential song matches. When you’ve found the right match, you can explore information on the song and artist, view any accompanying music videos, read the lyrics and analysis or listen to the tine on your chosen music app.

The feature is currently available in English on iOS and in more than 20 languages on Android, with Google hoping to expand it to more languages in the future. Luckily, you don’t need perfect pitch to use the feature!

As a creative agency that primarily works for companies in the tech sector we find new ideas in the world of machine learning and algorithms captivating – Google might be solving a small problem with this new feature, but it’s exciting to see what this innovation might be used for in the future.

Android phone using Google hum search application

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