6. Climbing Collaborative Consumption

From bikes to homes to clothing, sharing is caring

Dec 20, 2011
Outside Magazine
Collaborative Consumption

Collaborative Consumption is a system that promotes sharing things over owning things    Photo: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Collaborative Consumption is a system that promotes sharing things over owning things. Rachel Botsman—whose book, What’s Mine is Yours, tracks the growth of collaborative consumption—proclaimed at a technology conference in October that the collaborative revolution is going to be as big as the industrial revolution. That’s an audacious prediction, but then again, 2011, a car-sharing provider raised $173 million for its initial public offering and bike-sharing programs gained traction in cities across the country. Underwriting these successes is technology that makes sharing and collection of payments easy, convenient and safe. Peer-to-peer systems, where person A shares a thing or service with person B, makes a smaller carbon footprint since no new goods are produced to enable the sharing. RelayRides and GetAround, for example, helps people rent out their own cars when they’re not using them. AirBNB, a service that connects travelers with homeowners looking to make some extra cash through very short term rentals, became a close-to-household word this year (although partly because meth addicts started ransacking homes, highlighting the downside of sharing). From an environmental perspective, Patagonia’s Common Threads initiative and headline-grabbing Don’t Buy This Jacket campaign is an example of collaborative consumption. As is your local Good Will store.

Read more at Fast Coexist and Wired

Filed To: Adventure, Science, Gear