What exactly is the sharing economy? | Annie Clementine

Annie Clementine
3 min readMay 16, 2022


Rethinking how we can make product use more intensive by using or sharing the product with more people or by giving products more functions.

Make product use more intensive by using (sharing) the product with more people or by giving the product more functions.

The concept of the “sharing economy” is certainly not new, and in fact in our opinion, it’s only just begun receiving the traction it needs to play a role in building a sustainable, circular future.

While we have set our sails towards understanding how exactly we as consumers can help support the creation of circular economies, we’re well aware that this type of complex system requires many moving parts. The sharing economy is just another example of how we are already shifting towards an equitable future that strikes balance between ecology, culture and the economy.

So what exactly is the sharing economy?

The sharing economy is an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is most likely to be used when the price of a particular asset is high and the asset is not fully utilized all the time.(source)

If you grew up with siblings, you likely know a thing or two about sharing (whether you liked it or not). Parents have always understood the value of the ‘sharing economy’, when it comes to their growing toddlers. Why would they buy that new jumper when they know their oldest child will grow out of it in a matter of weeks, and it’ll be good as new to pass along to the next bouncing baby?

Somewhere along the line, fast fashion and big companies promoting it, made us as consumers believe that there were 12 style seasons in a year, which meant we psychologically believed we grew out of styles quite quickly, with no bouncing baby to pass the excess clothing down to. Fast fashion companies also offered the solution to the never-ending wardrobe requirements by hiring cheap labour to make low quality articles of clothing. We’ll get into this topic in more depth into the future. For now, we’ve explored the circular brands that embody the “rethink” mindset. Fortunately, there were plenty.

We’ve chosen a company that we believe has paved the way for businesses looking to understand how to fit into the sharing, and circular economy.

Rent the Runway.

“The largest designer rental destination that gives
you more style, more access and more ways to rent than anywhere else.”

(source: Rent the Runway)

If you’ve ever been victim to 100 summer weddings, you know how difficult it is to keep up with the demand of needing an outfit for each.and.every.one. Rent the Runway opens a wardrobe of opportunity of endless fashion choices that you can rent for a fraction of the cost that a full price article would be, and once you’ve got your wear out of it, feel good about putting it back into the cycle for someone else to enjoy. We’re a big fan of visuals and thought we’d share with you the many benefits of supporting a company like Rent the Runway, as shared on their website:

All the ways that Rent the Runway is leading the way for circular brands (source: https://www.renttherunway.com/)

This concept is simple to support, and to summarize it simply, the Rethink principle and the sharing economy promote the idea of: