10 Initiatives that are all about Sharing (Economy)

Image by Hoffnungsschimmer (flickr.com)

As wealth gradually started to (unevenly) spread in the world, we have been exponentially pushed to desire more goods and use an increasing amount of money to get stuff or requiring a certain type of services. As has consumerism has started more and more to go extreme, in the last decades new approach to the market and trade has been developing within the society. As the name itself suggests, sharing economy is a socio-economic modeled based on the exchange of tangible and intangible assets between two (or more) parts (i.e. peer-to-peer, business-to-business, business-to-consumer).

Whether it comes under the form of car-sharing business or a shop where you can swap your items for others, sharing economy has been developing quite steadily in the last decades. In some cases, this model provide people with services or goods – in exchange for theirs – they wouldn’t otherwise afford. Access to assets is more valued over single ownership, and their production directly involves the participants in a collaborative way – making it, to some extent, more sustainable, and fun too.

So, any idea of where to find some spots which are based on this sharing economy model? Here we have our own particular list of some cool places and fresh initiatives you might want to check out. These are only few of our suggestions – our Spotters have written about other interesting places that could fit in this article, and while you’re browsing either through our cities’ blog or our website blog you might surely chance upon them.

Izmenjevalnica (Ljubljana)

Izmenjevalnica - by Gaja Naja Rojec

Izmenjevalnica – by Gaja Naja Rojec

Once a month, some volunteers organises an event called “Izmenjevalnica”, meaning “exchange shop”. Organised at Ljubljana’s Red Cross, it has been conceived as a creative way to promote solidarity and help to less fortunate strata of society. All you have to do is to bring some primary goods (soap, or imperishable food), and in exchange you’ll get a coupon that you can use to buy clothes (clearly, most of them are worth more than a coupon). Beside the fact that you can find some cool pieces, you will be doing something good for the others.

Crossroad Trading Co (Los Angeles)

Crossroad Trading Co - by Claudia Schwarz

Crossroad Trading Co – by Claudia Schwarz

Crossroad Trading co is the right spot if you want to buy designer clothes for reasonable prices in California’s largest metropolis.  I said buy, but you can also trade and exchange yours for store credit or maybe even another piece of clothing. Just be aware that these stores are up-to-date with the latest trends, and won’t accept anything that is either too old or quite out of the current fashion.

Scoot (San Francisco)

Scoot - by Sean Davis (flickr.com)

Scoot – by Sean Davis (flickr.com)

San Francisco is well known for its hilly cityscape and steep, definitely steep streets. If you are tired of hiking and using public transports, try Scoot: this ride-sharing app allows you to rent electric vespas (and now also scooter cargos and quads too) for a very reasonable price and, once you’re done with your ride, drop them in some selected locations and garages around town. As well, Scoot organises some monthly events.

Ruilboekenkast (Amsterdam)

Ruilboekenkast by Stephen van den Hoek

Ruilboekenkast by Stephen van den Hoek

Not a shop, just a bookcase in a hidden porch of the Dutch capital. The idea is simple: you can take any of the books you find in the Ruilboekenkast, but in exchange you should leave one. Most of them are in Dutch, and the assortment changes often and, apparently, it’s always pretty good. This type of initiatives with books have been spreading around fast – just be nice and play by the rule of the game: take only if you are ready to leave something!

Myths 2016 – Test Drive (Munich)

Tao - by Nolia Shakti

Tao – by Nolia Shakti

Hamburg-based visual duo Loukia Richards and Christopher Ziegler will be participating to Schmuck-Munich Jewellery Week (24.2-1.3.2016) with this brand-new project. Myths 2016 will give the opportunity to design jewelers to expose their work, and lease them to potential customers or whomever might be keen on them for one or two days (in case you’re interested in taking part in their project, you will find all the needed requirements on their website – direct link right above, by clicking the heading). This is an alternative way to give a chance to designers to let themselves know – as stated in their page, if you can try a car before buying it, why shouldn’t you do the same with a piece of jewelry?

Isola Pepe Verde (Milan)

Isola Pepe Verde - by Elena Berneschi

Isola Pepe Verde – by Elena Berneschi

Hidden among the glossy glassy skyscrapers that have been changing Milan’s skyline in the last year, you will have to search carefully for a tiny green plot of land where greenery grows undisturbed and luxuriant. Isola Pepe Verde is right in the middle of the city’s new, recently developed business area, but it seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of Milan. This shared garden is run by associations of people who has decided to create a space for everyone to go and enjoy a bit of green, in a city that is often considered very grey.

Salz Club (Berlin)

Salz Club - by Luiza Skrzypczynska

Salzclub – by Luiza Skrzypczynska

Happens often to hear people complaining about how hard is to find a good, not too pricey venue to throw a party. Well, in Berlin you can rent an amazing space for free. In the Charlottenburg area, Salz Club offers its room(s) for free – the only thing is that, in exchange, you will buy their alcohol. Every now and then Salz Club also hosts a party called ‘WataLilly’. On top of that, it also counts on a beach on the Spree river, which is just great during the summertime.

Kelet Kávézó és Galéria (Budapest)

Kelet Kávézó és Galéria - by Timea Szodorai

Kelet Kávézó és Galéria – by Timea Szodorai

A coffee place and a space for cultural nights and events: that’s what Kelet Kávézó és Galéria is, indeed a cute spot of the Hungarian capital. Its first floor is home to some thousands books. Read one of them while you’re having lunch or sipping one of their coffees chosen from their extensive selection or, in case you are willing to leave one of yours, do it and bring a new one home.

Knjižnica reči (Ljubljana)

Knjižnica reči - by David Lotric

Knjižnica reči – by David Lotric

Apparently the sharing economy model has been taking root fast in Ljubljana, and it’s working well too. However, Knjižnica reči (the Library of things) has taken the whole concept to another level. It’s called library but, in fact, anything you bring and take from here is items that you might sometimes need but, on a daily basis, you really don’t (leave a hoover – take a hoe, for example). Everyone can become a member – by paying either a symbolic fee or leaving some equipment.

Shevchenko (Kiev)

Shevchenko - by Dima Romas

Shevchenko – by Dima Romas

Named after Ukrainian’s most famous and beloved poet, Shevchenko’s walls are covered with his poems written in pencil or coal. This traditional restaurant offers a tasty menu and has a fine choice of homemade liquors. But the sharing economy bit here is that, if you own a copy of Shevchenko’s Kobzar book, you can trade it here for a present: it could be a dish, a bottle, or a whole meal.

What’s your favorite sharing initiative in your city (or another)? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)