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Talking business: Is there a future in sharing clothes?

In a bid to encourage more conscientious consumption, Sweden’s ShareWear campaign, in partnership with VisitSweden and the Swedish Institute, loans new garments to people for free – provided the borrower passes them on after a week using Instagram. Is this a potential threat to retailers or could this be the opportunity to create a new buying model for the future?

sharewear

sharewear

Last year, PWC predicted that companies that adhere to the sharing economy’s business model of access over ownership have the potential to increase global revenues from roughly $15bn (£11bn) today to about $335bn (£252bn) by 2025. The stronghold of peer-to-peer social networks and real-time technologies have fundamentally changed the way consumers behave and buy and this is the time for retailers to consider new purchase models.

Fashion retailers can take inspiration from, rather than mirror, their more ethical counterparts for increased sales through a collaborative consumption design. What ShareWear proves is that listening to the target audience and using the right channel to reach them can create significant change, from hyper consumption to collaborative consumption, and engage the people buying. Empowering the customer is the desired end product.

There’s an opportunity for businesses to appeal to the fashion-obsessed mobile user by augmenting their model and proactively create their own sharing platform with unique pieces that are exclusive to their own initiative. H&M could kick things off saliently with the sale of a shirt first worn by David Beckham. Bringing convenience, instant connectivity and a strong element of ‘surprise and delight’ for people ensures that they are kept at the heart.

Social media have shown us that if it’s worth sharing, it will get shared, thus reaching new audiences and potential customers. If brands share their products in innovative ways, they could see people sharing alike. It’s time it got deployed and we share in the success.

Jo Davies, CEO of creative agency ZAK. 

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