Published on February 19, 2019

If there’s one big-box retailer that continues to surprise us with their sustainability efforts, it’s IKEA. In addition to making recent advancements with its furniture buy-back and rental program and adding more plant-based foods to its in-store menu, the company has also added air pollution to its clean living agenda—and it’s blocking out hazardous pollutants with (what else!) a curtain.

In a recent announcement, the Swedish retailer shared the first images of the Gunrid air-purifying curtain. Drawing on the process of photosynthesis, the fabric of the curtain is coated with a photocatalyst mineral that causes air pollution to break down when natural light hits the surface, thus preventing harmful air emissions from entering the home.

“For me, it’s important to work on products that solve actual problems and are relevant to people,” says Mauricio Affonso, product developer at IKEA, in a statement. “Textiles are used across homes, and by enabling a curtain to purify the air, we are creating an affordable and space-saving air-purifying solution that also makes the home more beautiful.”

IKEA has been working with universities across Europe and Asia to develop the unique purifying technology over the past few years. While the Gunrid air-purifying curtain won’t be available in stores until 2020, the impending launch is a good excuse for a clean slate, especially when you consider that the World Health Organization estimates that 91 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air.

“Besides enabling people to breathe better air at home, we hope that Gunrid will increase people’s awareness of indoor air pollution, inspiring behavioral changes that contribute to a world of clean air,” adds Lena Pripp-Kovac, head of sustainability at Inter IKEA Group.

While it’s clear that Gunrid won’t solve the world’s air pollution problems, the product certainly brings new meaning to “home refresh.” We already know that the right drapery can transform a space, but this savvy treatment takes affordable window upgrades to the next level.

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