The good news is that this is a growing global movement, which acknowledges the importance of a different way of being and consuming, whilst fulfilling the need of those who want to access things rather than own stuff.
The world’s first mobile library of things was launched in Devon last month. Originally based in Totnes, the Share Shed is now mobile to also serve Buckfastleigh, Ashburton and South Brent in a van, specially converted with the help of the National Lottery Community Fund, the Network of Wellbeing (NOW) and The School for Social Entrepreneurs.
Mirella Ferraz, NOW’s project coordinator, says: “The Share Shed supports people to get things done in an affordable and convenient way, whilst helping to reduce the resources we use. With the mobile version of the project, we’re excited to make the Share Shed accessible for even more people. It’s amazing that in July alone we had 134 loans.”
Over 800 people have signed up as Share Shed members since 2017, when the project was founded, enabling them to borrow things that they don’t use regularly, and consequently saving money, space and resources.
The Share Shed’s collection is versatile and includes things such as camping equipment, gardening tools, musical instruments, household appliances, bicycles, things for when a baby comes to visit and much more. The most popular items include carpet cleaners, pressure washers, electric drills, strimmers, and sewing machines.
Mark Jefferys, Share Shed manager, said: “Everybody we meet seems to understand the concept of ‘borrow, don’t buy’, and it’s a great feeling when we can help somebody out with the things they need to complete a task; be it putting up a shelf, or getting a house ready for a sale. Expanding this possibility to other towns, and facilitating even more sharing is a great and exciting next step for us.”
In the UK, the Share Shed is one of a few established projects facilitating this kind of sharing. Some projects, like the Edinburgh Tool Library, are solely focused on tools (in this case, with an impressive offer of over 1,500 tools), whilst others are all about baby-related items or simply toys.
The good news is that this is a growing global movement, which acknowledges the importance of a different way of being and consuming, whilst fulfilling the need of those who want to access things rather than own stuff. Such a shift is supporting people and communities to become much more resourceful and sustainable. After all, why buy when you can borrow?
For those interested in knowing more about the project as well as how to set up a similar initiative in your community, join a free online event on 25 August, from 7pm to 8.30pm (BST), which will be hosted by the Share Shed in partnership with the Network of Wellbeing and Eden Project Communities.
This article is based on a press release from Share Shed. For further information, visit the website.