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Join in the 'Greatest Share on Earth' for Global Sharing Day

Over 60 million people in 147 countries are expected to take part in activities today to shine a spotlight on the emerging sharing economy. Benita Matofska, founder of The People Who Share and Compare and Share, has declared today (November 14) the first Global Sharing Day, to raise awareness of the money-saving and -making potential of the sharing economy for the everyday consumer.

Sharing events are being held in countries as far afield as Argentina, South Korea, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Israel, coordinated by more than 160 partner organizations and sharing economy leaders The People Who Share, Shareable magazine, OuiShare and Mesh Labs.

Between 1-2pm local time, there will be a worldwide collaborative attempt to create “The Greatest Share On Earth.” Anyone, anywhere can join in by sharing a meal, a tweet, a conversation, music, or by giving a friend or colleague a lift in their car. Sharers in London this morning can even swap some unloved clothes for a new, free, winter wardrobe — Marks and Spencer are holding a special “Shwopping” event in honor of Global Sharing Day, starting at 9am GMT, at their Pantheon store on Oxford Street.

Matofska estimates that she saves as much as £20,000 per year through sharing skills, childcare, dog walking and transport, for instance. She also swaps clothes and trades homes so that she and her family can go on holiday without spending money on hotels.

“The sharing economy is about being smart and living smarter," Matofska says. "It’s about using the things you have, but don’t need, to get the things that you do. Finances are tough right now, so people have to find ways of doing more with less. The smartest companies are building their business models around the sharing of resources.”

Debbie Wosskow, Founder of Love Home Swap, says, “It’s no wonder that the sharing economy has seen such rapid growth in the past few years. The economy has been a major part of this, as more and more people are looking to make or save money from assets they already own to help finance their lifestyles. This is definitely the case for Love Home Swap, where members save an average of £2,202 per swap  and we have some members who've saved as much as £20,000.” 

Also known as collaborative consumption or peer-to-peer marketplaces, the sharing economy is powered by individuals and businesses who share cars, skills, goods and knowledge and who swap homes, clothes, books and time. The movement is about the efficient use of finite resources, saving and making money in a new way (e.g. crowdfunding), and a move away from ownership to access of shared goods and services. Examples of businesses successfully operating in this sector are Zipcar, Airbnb, Blablacar, Love Home Swap and ParkatmyHouse. The sharing market is estimated to be worth £310 billion globally and £22.4 billion in the UK alone.

SB London
Benita Matofska will share her insights and inspiration, and highlight crucial ways the "sharing sector" will impact the global business community, in a plenary presentation on November 27, day one of our upcoming SB London conference.

Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor of Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]