Jürgen Pretsch is the founder of SHÄP, a recently launched rental marketplace that focuses on connecting people with items to rent in local communities. SHÄP works to reduce unnecessary purchases and enable sharing without creating a shipping footprint by bringing neighbors together. Reuse and sharing are the best ways to minimize the environmental impact of the products you buy. But connecting with people who want what you have, especially people near you so that it is not necessary to ship something thousands of miles, is difficult. And if you don’t want to sell something because you may use it again, you may want to earn some extra income by renting it to others. SHÄP is available in Manhattan and will focus this year on urban metropolitan areas where there is a higher likelihood of finding a match for the products people want to rent.
Secondhand clothing company Thredup and market research firm GlobalData reported in 2021 that the secondhand clothing industry is growing 11 times faster than retail and could be worth $84 billion by 2030. That’s just clothing. But the reuse/rental market has been challenging for companies, as previous podcast guests in this business have explained. Bringing the transaction down to the local level, which has worked for tool- and car-sharing startups, for example, can also dramatically reduce shipping emissions while fostering local communities. SHÄP members also deliver the goods they rent to encourage new social connections. That may be a limiting factor for some who don’t want to handle the day-to-day management of their stuff, but it can also forge lasting relationships between members who value SHÄP as a connector. You can learn more about SHÄP at shap.market.