The idea of buying something that you rarely use could be outdated. The only reason it survived is because, in our consumerist society, you bought stuff so it was close by when you needed it.
Now, with the Internet’s ability to connect you with people, it’s possible to borrow stuff rather than buy it.
This is the concept explained in “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption”. In this book author Rachel Bostman explains how this sharing and exchange of assets could be as much of a societal transformation as the industrial revolution.
There are lots of examples today, from house-sharing site Airbnb, through to errand marketplace TaskRabbit and car-sharing schemes being offered in Europe by the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Rachel says this means products will need to be designed to be shared, rather than with built-in obsolescence.
It sounds like a mammoth shift in how the economy operates, but one which makes better use of resources. Wouldn’t that be nice?