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Trends Sharing economy 1/4


Ownership? It’s become a burden


New research suggests that UK consumers are – so far – failing to capitalise on the sharing economy. But, as Rob Bell discovers, they and the businesses providing the services will benefit hugely in the long term


Benita Matofska, founder of The People Who Share movement


The “global sharing economy”has taken off almost by stealth, quietly growing to the point it is valued at £22.4bn in the UK (1.3% of GDP and predicted to rise by 15% in five years) and internationally at £310bn. Challenging traditional business mod- els, this emerging approach to the supply of goods and services without an initial purchase outlay and ongoing mainte- nance and other costs promises a range of sustainability and environmental ben- efits alongside cost savings for the con- sumer.


However, according to research com- missioned by The People Who Share “an exciting movement that is making


sharing mainstream”, UK consumers are failing to capitalise on the benefits the sharing economy offers. Those that have become involved benefit by around £434 per year, primarily through buying and selling second-hand goods (52%), shar- ing car journeys (25%) and swapping childcare services (14%).


In order to raise awareness of the shar- ing economy, 14 November saw the first- ever Global Sharing Day.


Founder Benita Matofska, who saves


as much as £20,000 a year sharing skills, childcare, dog walking and transport, clothes and homes so holidays can be taken without racking up hotel bills, says: “The sharing economy is about being


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