The Rise of Liquid Economy

The Rise of Liquid Economy: how circular models are taking over. Sharing is caring, and consumers are starting to care a lot more about the planet than their possessions.


As a matter of fact, the concept of property has been changing rapidly in recent years. We are sure you know at least one person who has used a car or bike-sharing service at least once in their life, and it’s likely that you have even tried it yourself!


As consumers become more conscious of the impact of their actions and habits on the environment, the traditional model of ownership is slowly being replaced by a more collaborative consumption. The latter disrupts the old business models centered on hyperconsumption and mitigates the consequences of overconsumption by maximizing the utility of products throughout their lifespan. This approach enables individuals to acquire, use, and dispose of their possessions in a way that aligns with the pillars of sustainability and circularity.


Liquid Economy: What is it?


The liquid economy is a concept that revolves around the idea of sharing and renting rather than owning. Instead of buying a product, consumers can access it when needed through a subscription or rental service, sharing or borrowing from each other.


Such a model has several benefits: first of all, it allows to keep resources in use for as long as possible, while minimizing waste and reducing the need for new products to be produced. Moreover, renting and sharing are cost-effective options for rarely used items or those with a high idling capacity. Renting is also a good alternative if you want to try a product before committing to buying it as, if you don’t like it, you can always return it with the only loss being the rental fee.


Because of this, this consumption approach is becoming popular in different industries and across various sectors. Some of the most important ones are the automotive industry and the fashion industry.


Liquid Economy in the automotive industry


Car-sharing services like Zipcar and Car2Go have become increasingly popular in the automotive industry. These services allow consumers to rent a car only when they need it, reducing the need for private ownership and the number of cars on the road. This has several tangible benefits for the environment. Firstly, fewer cars on the road lead to less traffic congestion, which means less pollution from idling and stop-start driving. Secondly, since car-sharing services often use fuel-efficient or electric vehicles, they can significantly reduce emissions compared to private car ownership. In fact, a study by the University of California, Berkeley, found that car-sharing services can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 10 times per user compared to private car ownership.


Moreover, car-sharing services also promote a shift in consumer behavior towards more conscious consumption. By reducing the need for private car ownership, car-sharing services encourage people to consider alternative modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, or public transit. This can lead to a reduction in overall car usage and a decrease in the environmental impact associated with road transportation.


Liquid Economy in the fashion industry

Ever heard about Rent the Runway? Founded by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, RTR is the leading company that provides designer dress and accessory rentals. This not only reduces the environmental impact of fast fashion but also provides consumers with access to high-quality clothing without the need for ownership.


Rental industry in the fashion sector is still growing: according to a survey conducted by Statista in 2020, the percentage of people who reported renting pieces of clothing at least once was around 9% in the United States. However, as consumers become more environmentally conscious and interested in sustainable fashion, it is likely that the popularity of rental services in the fashion industry will continue to grow.


According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the adoption of circular models of consumption such as the liquid economy could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% by 2030. In the fashion industry, the adoption of the liquid economy model could reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion, which is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions worldwide and 92 million tons of waste per year. By renting high-end clothing items rather than purchasing them, consumers can reduce their fashion footprint and positively contribute to the reduction of waste.


Join the Liquid Revolution!

Are you ready to join the liquid revolution? The rise of the liquid economy is a game-changer for our planet and our wallets! By sharing and renting products instead of owning them, we can reduce waste, save money, and mitigate the environmental impact of overconsumption.


Why buy something you’ll only use once when you can rent or share it with others?


Of course, there are still challenges to overcome, such as changing consumer behavior and ensuring the quality of the products being shared or rented… But it will be worth the effort!


Let’s work towards a more sustainable and resilient future, one rental at a time!

Arianna Ranieri

Arianna Ranieri is an Economics student, always looking forward to learn and gain experience, especially in the circular economy field. She pursues innovation and strive to be part of the change.