July 26, 2017
Refashioner started as a sharing engine, a fancied-up swap for our best clothes. And sharing is what I believe in with all my heart. I redistribute clothes IRL with abandon-- and small (or no) prices. My mending operations are focused on valuing what we already have. My vintage & designer collection is a lending library...
In wanting to redistribute the wardrobe wealth I'm far from alone. Every small town I visit these days has at least one thriving community-spirited consignment store, usually more.
So you'd think the buzz phrase "Sharing Economy" would mean what it says: saving money by dividing ownership. (Same with "Collaborative consumption"-- the term when Refashioner launched in 2010.) But, no. Sharing is how Silicon Valley and its venture capitalists milk money from people's lifestyles. It's how they plan to have all the cake.
Just hear the language industry analysts Juniper Research used in the report they released today (with suitable illustrations of moneybags)...
"Sharing Economy: Opportunities, Impacts & Disruptors 2017-2022 Our latest research into the Sharing Economy delivers a comprehensive analysis of the leading monetization strategies and opportunities for players in the industry"
Their three "industries ripe for disruption" are, predictably, housing, transport and services. But it's clothes--a precious commodity we all use every day--that I think is ripest. Not for Disruption. Not as an Opportunity for Monetization. But for actual sharing.
Let's disrupt the greed.