Subito: the digital platform that enables circular economy

During the last edition of Re-Think in Milan, Daniela De Marco, Strategy and Business Development Manager at Subito, talked about its impact on circular economy. Subito is a digital platform that enables millions of people to share items such as sofas, cars, apartments or even jobs from the local community. In order to develop it, the creators started from the local communities in different countries, trying to boost people to share things.

Sharing would result in the generation of less waste and energy used. Therefore, the idea is to enable this local community to grow in a sustainable way. In order to do that, it is also necessary to boost the system with innovation and the possibility to allow any kind of person to share items and to be involved in the second-hand economy.

On the platform, today, they have 3 million visits each month, but they want to increase and enable a greater amount of people to use the second-hand economy.

Subito is the leading platform for the second-hand economy in Italy: in fact, they already have 13 million unique users each month and over 6 million items on the platform. This means, for instance, that in 2020 they enabled the selling of 26 million objects, which generated an impact on the environment that was calculated in 5.4 million tonnes saved in CO2 emissions.

The company’s mission is to create perfect matches in the world’s most trusted marketplaces. Therefore, they are focusing on the idea of match, demand and supply, but also on the idea of trust, because the purpose is to make a difference in positively impacting the environment and allowing people to have an impact themselves.

Every year, Subito runs a research with Doxa to measure the impact, value and size of the second-hand industry, and also to map some trends. For instance, they found out that in 2020 the value of the second-hand economy was worth 23 billion euros, which is around 1.5% of the GDP of Italy.

Moreover, according to the research results, 23 million Italians were involved in the second-hand economy, but 14 million of them got in touch with this industry for the first time, which means that the market can keep growing every day.

How much energy can be saved by buying a used item instead of a new one? They tried to measure the impact of each item sold through Subito, in order to know the size of the impact. For instance, they calculated that in 2020 the 26 million deals closed through Subito were able to save 5.4 million tons of CO2, which could be translated into no traffic in Rome for 16 months or 77 flights less from Rome to Milan, as well as an enormous saving of raw materials.

As a consequence, digitalization can help people to approach more and more the sharing economy and second-hand activities. This is also the reason why on Subito they try to explain the environmental benefits of buying a certain used product compared to a new one, such as saving more or less 100 kilos of CO2 when buying a used bicycle.

However, more innovation is needed to make the data accessible to everyone and to increase the positive impact of people on the environment. A new innovative service, recently added on their platform is TuttoSubito, which lets everyone buy the item on the platform, pay directly on it and have a shipment completely managed by the company.

Another service they are willing to add is the possibility for their customers to buy one item from one city to another, to a region to another, and also even internationally if they want. Therefore, digital platforms have the power to access more people, companies, professionals and everyone interested in contributing to waste saving.

Would you like to know more? Keep updated with circular economy news on our blog!

Emma Salioni

WIth a degree in Digital content management for media, enterprises and cultural heritage, Emma Salioni has always had a strong interest in sustainability and circularity. After a period of time spent workin in The Netherlands, she started working with Tondo managing social media and communication, as well as supporting the organization of hackathons and events.