Why hiring is the new green
Over the past five years we have seen a growing number of new businesses emerge which allow people to rent something which is either too expensive for them to buy or something they don’t use very often or for very long. The basic principal isn’t new, we stay in hotels where we are renting a room for a period of time, we rent cars, hire tools and equipment when we need them. However, the idea can be applied to all sorts of goods and the concept is very green.
Here are some examples of this fractional ownership trend:
Urban car clubs, such as streetcar, are one step up from conventional car rental are designed primarily for people who only occasionally use a car, perhaps because they live in Central London or can’t justify the cost of running a car. Subscription is growing, you can literally rent a car for an hour and of course the concept is very green.
Whilst some of these new businesses are also green because they are reducing consumption, a number are enabling people to rent status products such as designer dresses and handbags. To quote “Why spend all that money on one bag when you could have a new bag every month - or even every week? A designer bag on your arm turns you into that A-list fashionista you deserve to be and lets you feel like a million dollars every day”.
You can rent baby clothes on the same principal, an idea pioneered by a German company, Lütte-Leihen, so that once babies grow out of a size, the set can be exchanged for the next size up, free of charge. Perhaps the wackiest shared ownership idea again comes from California - FLEXPETZ is a shared dog ownership concept that provides members with access to a dogs for a few hours or days, compatible with their members’ individual lifestyles and circumstances.
And greenest of all is this new Christmas tree rental service, starting up in Los Angeles, www.livingchristmas.com, which suppliers rooted trees in pots, which will be picked up after Christmas, nurtures them until next Christmas. A good idea, although perhaps the company is going to have a seaonality problem, but maybe it could do summer rental as well.
Over the past five years we have seen a growing number of new businesses emerge which allow people to rent something which is either too expensive for them to buy or something they don't use very often or for very long.