This Week's Obsession - The Sharing Economy

This Week's Obsession - The Sharing Economy

Before it had a name and became a cutting-edge concept, the sharing economy had outposts in the American economy. Carpooling, for instance, has long been a way of sharing both the cost of commuting and leveraging an expensive asset — the private automobile (which sits idle more than 90% of the time).

 Today, thanks to the likes of Airbnb, Zipcar, and Uber, you can stay in a luxurious villa in St Tropez, hire a car by the hour, or have a personal driver on hand any time of the day – what’s not to love about that? The rise of the economic model ‘sharing economy’ opens up these opportunities to everybody and is increasingly becoming a bigger part of our lives.  Most people believe that sharing economy models are better for the economy, but are they? 

The rise of the economic model ‘sharing economy’ opens up these opportunities to everybody and is increasingly becoming a bigger part of our lives. Rather than owning an asset, behaviour has shifted towards more convenient rental agreements, available on-demand and with less commitment. The sharing or ‘peer-to-peer’ economy enables people to rent assets owned by another individual.

It’s become common place in the transportation and hospitality sectors and the outlook of sharing economy is expected to reach $20bn globally by 2020 (Juniper Research), but what industry is next and where will it end?

Imagine the horror of being spotted on Instagram twice in the same outfit!

Now, thanks to the sharing economy you don’t have to worry about it. Companies like Rent the Runway, Hurr Collective, MWHQ, Rotaro, Chic by Choice and Girl Meets Dress are the answer to your worries. They offer rental options that enable anybody to wear the latest fashion items without spending a significant amount of money. Predominantly aimed at women, the idea is to make a wide range of high-end clothing accessible to everybody. No longer do your wardrobes need to be the graveyards of ‘never-to-be-worn-again’ items.

The ‘rent-a-dress’ model makes it possible to rent expensive designer dresses and accessories for a limited period at a fraction of the retail price (generally between 10%-20%). The rental price includes shipping costs, a return package with a pre-labelled barcode, care, and optional insurance. You can order your outfit online or in some cases stores.  For example in London MWHQ has a partnership with Harrods and Hurr Collective with Selfridges.  On top of that, a personalised customer service is provided through stylists who can help you find the perfect dress and accessory combination. If you want a regular service, another option is to pay a monthly fee or subscription for a specified number of designer pieces on rotation. They even insure against minor spillage and damage.  

It’s not for everyone but the disruptive sharing economy cannot be overlooked.

RentMy have joined Sharing Economy UK, helping owners make money from the things they own by renting out their items that might otherwise sit idle. The platform also gives renters the chance to rent anything, from anyone, anywhere.

RentMy was originally conceived to revolutionise the rental market, making a social and environmental impact in the process.

“RentMy are excited to be networking with our colleagues in the sharing economy, who are collectively on a mission for a more sustainable democratised economy. As part of the CBI, Sharing Economy UK is a hub for businesses that bring social and economic benefits not found in traditional business models. Our communities are founded by innovative people, utilising skills for a more personal local feel or using existing resources reducing waste and CO2 emissions. We are proud to be a part of this positive change.

The future’s bright, the future’s shared!”

But is the Sharing Economy Better for the Planet?