UK's First 'Share Shop' Opens for business
A new kind of shop is aiming to transform the future of retail by lending rather than selling items and fostering more meaningful connections with the things we use
UK's First 'Share Shop' Opens for business
By Lucy Purdy / positivenews.org.uk

SHARE - in Frome, Somerset - may be the first shop in the UK where lending rather than selling rules.

At this ‘borrowing hub’ items are loaned out rather than sold – and everything is personalised with the story of its previous owner. SHARE founders believe this nurtures trust and respect as well as providing a practical service.

The store also aims to reduce waste, save customers money and train young people with practical skills through workshops and social events.

People are asked to donate or lend useful, high quality items which the shop then lends out to others for several days at a time. Only a nominal fee is charged to borrow items: between £1 and £4.

At SHARE, all items are displayed with the object’s history and a photo of the person who donated it to encourage people to forge connections and introduce a richness of experience, arguably often missing from financial transactions.

The shop opened its doors this spring after eight unemployed young people were given just two months to get it up and running. They were set the challenge by community enterprise Edventure: Frome as part of specialist training in community entrepreneurship, which sees participants ‘learning through doing’.

One of the people involved, Maija Helena Powell, 21, said: “Working on this project has been a huge eye-opener for me. I can’t think of anywhere else where I’d have the opportunity to create a sustainable business from scratch and get involved with every step of the process – from writing a business plan to actually building the shop interior.

“It has really changed how I think of work – now it actually seems possible that I could make a living at the same time as doing something good for society.”

Frome’s town council provided start-up funding and it is hoped that the shop will become a fully self-sustaining enterprise within six months.

“Enabling people to share resources not only saves money but reduces waste and carbon too,” said Anna Francis, Frome Town Council’s energy and recycling officer. “The average electric drill is used for just 15 minutes in its lifetime and with many households feeling the pinch SHARE means everyone will be able to access the items they need – from tools to cookery to camping equipment – without the expense, hassle and storage needed to buy their own,” she added.

One man, Mark, donated a set of golf clubs to the shop accompanied by an interesting story of how he came to own them. He ended up with them after attending a conference at which delegates were asked to bring something of sentimental value. Mark brought his grandfather’s gold wedding ring but it was lost, so he took the golf clubs home instead.

“Years later,” explained Powell, “someone contacted him having cleared out their house and found his ring. They returned it with a note saying: ‘It’s about time you were reunited with this!’ Not knowing the true owner of the golf clubs he has now passed them on into the world through SHARE.”

SHARE joins a growing network of sharing services around the globe including Leila, the well- established ‘borrowing shop’ in Berlin. Library of Things in West Norwood, south London, recently surpassed a £12,000 Kickstarter funding target to build upon the “roaring success” of its pilot project. The team behind Library of Things is keen to open source the model and see a network of sharing shops growing across the UK.

4.6 ·
4
What's Next
Trending Today
Trump Turned Down the Debate for Fear of a Sanders Nomination
Liam Miller · 40,701 views today · Trump recently waffled about debating Sanders; he said he would for $10M to charity. He must not have expected the money to materialize. It did; and he bailed. But why? It...
The Real Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan. It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives.
Washington's Blog · 32,386 views today · Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives. But most of the...
Harry Patch: Anti-War Hero
6 min · 11,122 views today · Harry Patch had no time for, 'Thieving politicians lies'. Poem: Heathcote Williams Narration: Alan Cox Montage: Alan Cox and Margaret Cox
Memorializing the Horrors of War With 10 Must-See War Films
John W. Whitehead · 6,782 views today · “The horror... the horror...”—Apocalypse Now (1979) “You can’t show war as it really is on the screen, with all the blood and gore. Perhaps it would be better if you could...
Scientists Puzzled by Slowing of Atlantic Conveyor Belt, Warn of Abrupt Climate Change
Mike Gaworecki · 5,866 views today · Scientists are increasingly warning of the potential that a shutdown, or even significant slowdown, of the Atlantic conveyor belt could lead to abrupt climate change, a shift...
Brené Brown on How to Reckon with Emotion and Change Your Narrative
Brené Brown · 5,324 views today · The most powerful stories may be the ones we tell ourselves, says Brené Brown. But beware—they're usually fiction.
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
John Pilger · 3,970 views today · Returning to the United States in an election year, I am struck by the silence. I have covered four presidential campaigns, starting with 1968; I was with Robert Kennedy when...
Used and Betrayed - 100 Years of US Troops as Lab Rats
31 min · 3,413 views today · On Memorial Day, politicians will speak at ceremonies all over the country and repeat their favorite mantra: “Support the troops.” This pledge is hammered into the American...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 3,332 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
War, Propaganda and the Media: A Detailed Primer on the Tactics of Modern War Propaganda
Anup Shah · 3,100 views today · We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness...
Live Rich: A Spoken Word Film about The True Meaning of Wealth
4 min · 2,702 views today · This consumer madness is consuming us. Follow Buy Nothing Day on Twitter and Facebook. Video by Gary Turk.
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 2,470 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
A World War Has Begun - Break The Silence
John Pilger · 2,345 views today · I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is...
Something Extraordinary Is Happening in the World, And Most People Haven't Noticed
Gustavo Tanaka · 1,621 views today · Most of us haven't quite realized there is something extraordinary happening. A few months ago, I freed myself from standard-procedure society. I broke the chains of fear that...
The 'Sexy Lie' We Should Be Talking About
12 min · 1,480 views today · "I am here today to talk about a lie." That's how politics professor Caroline Heldman opened her Jan. 2013 TEDxYouth San Diego talk on the topic of sexual objectification. "I'd...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,409 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
A Simple 6 Step Self Compassion Exercise to Combat Depression and Low Self Esteem
5 min · 1,275 views today · It’s all too easy to be extremely tough on ourselves; we need – at points – to get better at self-compassion. Here is an exercise in how to lessen the voices of self-flagellation.
How Does Addiction Relate to Our Relationship to the Living World?
Sarah Levine · 1,038 views today · The recently published piece titled ‘The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think' gave me a lot of food for thought for how we relate to...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 885 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 740 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
UK's First 'Share Shop' Opens for business