This week is ‘Love Sharing week’, a week of inspiring events, activities and conversation to celebrate the new rapidly growing ‘sharing’ and ‘pay as you live’ movement. Ever since AirBnB taught us that household space could be shared with visiting tourists, and Zipcar helped us see the value of sharing a car rather than the expense of owning one, the movement we called Collaborative Consumption has started to go mainstream. The Sharing Economy, currently valued at over £22 billion in the UK alone, has challenged our need to own outright goods and services that remain unused or dormant most of the time. Even high street retailers like Marks & Spencer’s are embracing this exciting shift in consumer appetite through their clothes swapping initiative ‘Shwopping’.
To mark this special week, Zipcar have partnered YouGov and The Future Foundation to create a piece of research examining the UK’s attitudes towards sharing, and trends in moving away from ownership and towards rental. Storemates features as a key case study along with many other cutting edge sites such as Parkatmyhouse.com and OneFineStay.com. You can download the full report here.
Some fascinating insights include:
*Over 1 in 5 under 55 year olds are sharing more than they were a year ago
*There are 10 times more Zipcar locations in London than there are Starbucks!
*Every car shared takes 20 off the road so its great for our CO2 emissions targets.
*32% of the Pay-As-You-Live Generation state that changes in technology have fuelled the increase in sharing, and 60% of zipcar activities take place on mobile devices.
Mark Walker, General Manager of Zipcar UK, commissioners of the report, explains:
“Although the concept of hiring and sharing is not new, never before has it been so widespread. Two major factors have combined to cause this paradigm shift...we now have innovative business models in place that truly enable it to work in practice – models that are more convenient and made simple to use by smart technology. [In our report] you can read more about a range of goods and services across a number of sectors enabling a ‘pay-as-you-live’ lifestyle, including Girl Meets Dress, Rdio, Storemates and Desk Wanted.”
So it’s pretty obvious, after the overconsumption of the 1990s and 2000s combined with the realities of the economic downturn starting to bite, consumers are firmly grabbing the Sharing Economy by the horns. And as Rachel Botsman, author of the influential What's Mine Is Yours, recently said: This could mark the start of the next industrial revolution!
Own or Rent? To join the big conversation use the Twitter hashtag #LoveSharing and get sharing! Read the report here: ZipcarUK Report
Check out our list of 50 great UK sharing and renting sites here http://storemates.co.uk/collaborative-consumption/