One of Time Magazine’s “10 Ideas that Will Change the World”, Collaborative Consumption is a term first coined by Ray Algar back in 2007, in response to the explosive growth of Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, eBay and Dynamic Pricing. Today, the term is used to describe the renting, lending and sharing of goods and is being buoyed by both recession-hit wallets and the younger generations’ focus on community and networks. There’s also an eco-element of course – less consumption means less production – making this one a spot-on trend for today and tomorrow.
A multitude of businesses has now sprung up, covering a huge range of propositions. Some are new ways of delivering existing services, such as Tripping and Zipcar. But many are revolutionary in their potential impact on our lives. Why does everyone in a neighbourhood need a lawnmower or hedge trimmer when households can rent to each other? What if you’ve forgotten something and are too far from home to collect it but don’t want to fork out for a new one? Check out Freegler and Snapgoods. Whipcar takes the car rental model one step further by facilitating the rental of private cars. Zopa allows individuals to borrow from each other.
Also tapping into this trend are the growing number of ‘stay-at-home’ brands that help people keep their spending local, either by using delivery services such as Hubbub or Housebites or by helping their friends earn cash through house parties, which have seen a significant rebirth recently. Convenient for stay-at-home mums to supplement the family income and much more enticing as higher-end brands like Jamie at Home, Sweaty Betty and Nirvana Spa offer party-based services.