Week in review: Three indicators of a booming shared economy

The sharing economy is increasingly affecting trade – here are three indicators from the past week.

During Circular Transitions, organised by Dr Kate Goldsworthy and Professor Rebecca Earley at University of the Arts London last week, Cyndi Rhoades of Worn Again claimed that consumer will become the raw material suppliers of the future textiles industry, as recycled materials will dominate. In a zero waste future, according to Rhoades, chemical and mechanical recyclers will sit at the heart of supply chain as kings of the industry, and these recycling technologies will achieve the biggest technological advance the industry has seen since the Industrial Revolution. (Twitter)
(During the same conference, Filippa K’s Elin Larsson took stage to talk about cultivating mindset around circular consumption. More about that on Filippa K Circle soon.)

As a way of tackling an industrywide slowdown in department-store traffic, Neiman Marcus introduces Rent a Runway in-stores (first out is San Fransisco, next up is Dallas). The spaces will showcase clothes available to rent alongside products that are for sale. The idea is to bring new customers to Neiman Marcus’ department stores, especially younger ones (their average customer is 51 years old). ”(…) clearly the shared economy is here to stay”, Neiman Marcus chief executive officer Karen Katz commented in an interview. (Business of Fashion)

The 2016 edition of the Swedish Trade Federation’s Sustainability report shows interest in sustainability in trade is on a steady rise, partly because of increased consumer demand and partly because businesses increasingly view sustainability work as something that is profitable in the long-run. 76 percent of the 1500+ companies participating in the study say they are actively working on sustainability issues, compared to 63 percent last year. On the consumer end, seven out of ten say they are think it’s important that brands work actively with sustainability, and as much as 87 percent say they make active choices to buy eco certified products. Maria Sandow says the great commitment among consumers imply there’s a potential for a circular economy, and concludes that ”It is not unlikely that the sharing economy is increasingly affecting trade”. (Habit)

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