A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the ‘sharing economy’ has found that it is young people above all who are keen to embrace the idea of sharing goods, rather than buying them, and in the process do their bit for the environment and our scare resources.
The report, called The sharing economy (30 pages), incorporates research from interviews with
industry insiders and a survey of 1,000 US citizens.
According to an article by James Dean in The Times, the report indicates that young people are
‘embracing a pared-down lifestyle and are happy to borrow rather than own
everyday items, be they cars, pets or clothes’.
Citing statistics from the report, Dean says that ‘77% of
millennials – young adults born around the turn of the century, who tend to
favour “experiences” over “things” – aspire to a pared-down life. Compared with
those aged 25 and over, nearly twice as many 18- to 24-year-olds believe that
access to material things is more important than ownership. Owning a car is
viewed as particularly wasteful’.
It seems that the ‘The economic downturn left many consumers
rethinking the necessity of possessions,’ and ‘many recession-fuelled values
Part of the popularity of the sharing economy is that it
enables people to make money from possessions they own by renting them out, so
in strict terms it is not ‘sharing’ but ‘renting’, but there is no getting away
from the fact that it means fewer resources are used by more people. Examples
of well-known sharing economy commodities are Airbnb (accommodation), Uber
(transport) and Spotify (music), but there are many more examples in the
The UK Government is exploring the possibility of expanding
the sharing economy, with an independent review led by Love Home Swap chief
executive Debbie Wosskow concluding that red tape needed to be minimised if the
sharing services were to take off.