Home Patchwork Perspective The Best Sharing Economy Businesses

The Best Sharing Economy Businesses

by Ismay Ozga
patchwork surprise birthday fund

We’re really pleased that Patchwork is part of the UK Sharing Economy – the network of businesses that enable people to trade their skills, their space and their stuff. If you want to get together with friends to share the cost of a unique gift or offer your time and skills to celebrate a special occasion then of course Patchwork is the place  for you.

And if you love and value the benefits of sharing and want to do it more, here’s a few of our favourite sharing economy businesses that can help…

Sharing Economy Airbnb tree house
Image – Airbnb

Sharing space

Of course we all love the joy that is Airbnb. The easy, affordable way to explore other parts of the world while living like a local in a welcoming stranger’s home. We also think Love Home Swap is great because it allows you to directly swap your own home with someone rather than paying to rent a place for your holiday.  If you’re a water baby check out Beds on Board. It’s basically the Airbnb of boats and means you can rent a really unique place to stay while exploring the world’s waterways at the same time. And finally we’ve got a new favourite – HeadBox, the venue finding platform that lets you search, book and pay for unique (and often underused) spaces in cities all across the UK. It’s perfect for finding an amazing venue for your work do, special birthday party or wedding. And (just like Airbnb) if you own or run an interesting space – gallery, photography studio or loft space – and want to hire it out when you’re not using it then you can register as a host too.

Sharing economy, sharing stuff, buying second hand

Sharing stuff

We’re huge fans of selling unwanted things and buying new-to-us stuff on platforms like ebay and Gum Tree and we’re now really loving the Depop App designed especially for the creative community. If you want to rent rather than buy try Rent the Runway for women’s wear and Fat Llama for camera equipment, musical instruments and everything in between. We’re also loving recently launched Toy Box Tots, a service that lets you to rent a box full of toys specifically suited to your child’s age and interests.  If you’d like to swap old things for new stuff try sites like The Library of Things.

Sharing economy, sharing food, eat with

Sharing food

Eat With is a brilliant concept that allows you to book a delicious homemade meal in someone’s home or pop up restaurant. A chance to get to know neighbours in your own community or venture into unexplored parts of your city for a meal. It’s a great way to meet fellow foodies at a strangers table, learn about other cuisines and cultures or just impress your partner or friends by introducing them to a unique eating experience.

Sharing economy, sharing music, sofa sounds

Sharing entertainment

Liv once had an impromptu gig in her own home where she asked a couple of bands to come over and play and then invited the whole of Brockley around with a big sign on the street outside her flat. These days it’s all a lot more organised – and obviously online. So if you want to host an unplugged session in your own home or want to find out where one’s happening in your neighbourhood check out the very brilliant Sofa Sounds.

Sharing economy, sharing transport, life share, hiyacra, drivy

Sharing transport

While buses, trains, trams and tubes are all relatively efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly ways to get around (at least in you live in a town) most of us are still stuck on car ownership. Expensive to run, bad for the planet and usually less efficient than you think when you factor in all the traffic caused by single occupancy cars on the road, the good news is there are now lots of car sharing options. Lift Share lets you share your journey and find a match with someone driving or looking for a lift – giving both drivers and ‘riders’ a cheap, fun and sociable way to get to your destination. While Hiyacar and Drivy both allow you to hire cars from local people in your area for individual days or extended periods – giving you the joy of car ownership without the hassle and expense.

Sharing economy, sharing pets, borrow my doggy, cat in a flat

Sharing pets

If you would love to have a pet but aren’t sure you can invest the time, money or commitment then sharing a pet is perfect. Sign up to Cat In a Flat to offer look after other people cats for short bursts of fluffy fun while their owners are away. Or if you want a more regular relationship try Borrow My Doggy to find a new furry friend in your neighbourhood. Depending on experience you can even share a horse or pony too! Just check out the equine section on Preloved to find the perfect match.

If you know of any other great sharing businesses we should know about please get in touch.

Until then, happy sharing!

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