From property to cars and the latest fashion and even a friend, more young people are opting for access rather than ownership.
What’s behind the trend?
Why own something when you can rent it?
The point is that young people don’t necessarily just want prosperity and stability – they prefer flexible schedules and financial and geographical independence. They’re renting homes, cars, fashion and even people (yes, you read that right).
Younger people are starting families later
In the past, renting your first apartment was
a stepping stone on the road to ‘adulting’. A way to save up some money to put
down on your first home. Now, millennials view renting more as a lifestyle
choice rather than a temporary situation. In fact, there has been a massive
boom in the rental market across the globe – and not only among millennials.
Some experts seem to think that one of the reasons for this is that younger people are delaying marriage and having children.
Before making any long-term commitments, they want to pursue a career, travel and figure out what they want in life.
They can afford to rent in an upmarket or trending area and have the flexibility to ‘lock up and go’ or ‘move’.
Renting is also seen as a more cost-effective and hassle-free option if you consider monthly bond payments, insurance, regular maintenance, rates and taxes etc. Younger people would rather spend money on experiences, like international travel.
Trying economic conditions and the rising cost of living also makes it difficult to save up enough for a deposit and to afford the monthly instalments.
Fast fashion faux pas
The clothing industry revolves around the
latest trends but it’s an industry that produces 20% of global
wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions – more than all
international flights and maritime shipping (take a moment to think about
Textile dyeing is the second largest
polluter of water globally and it takes around 7 500 litres of
water to make a regular pair of jeans. Every second, the
equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or
An increase in environmental concerns has made renting clothes more popular than ever.
So, where you might have only rented a tuxedo or formal wear for a special occasion, you can now rent everyday clothing and handbags.
Although rental fashion isn’t a new phenomenon (Rent the Runway, for example, has been around for over 10 years), websites like Rent the Runway, HURR or my Best Friend’s Closet allow you to rent clothing for a certain time and then send it back. HURR only rents out pieces with a value higher than £150, to cut-out fast fashion and promote clothes that are built to last.
The high cost of owning a car means a shift to lift-on-demand
In tough economic times, commuters are
carefully considering the cost of owning a car, which includes instalments,
insurance, maintenance and petrol.
In urban areas, in Europe especially, a car
is certainly not the only option to get around. With an increase in the
accessibility and safety of busses, taxis and trains, the popularity of motorcycles
and cycling and the digital enablement of Uber and Taxify, commuters are
certainly spoilt for choice.
But it’s not about costs alone, many people would rather spend time reading or working that battling in rush-hour traffic.
Rent a (platonic) person
It’s never been easier to connect with
people online across a myriad of mediums. Social media and dating websites
should make it easier to connect with people, but even though this is the
smallest the world has ever been, people battle to connect in ‘real life’.
In fact, loneliness and depression is on the rise and people often battle to make new friends or connect with new people.
Enter RentAFriend.com. This is the
largest online platonic friendship website in the world. You can rent a friend
to attend a social event, wedding, or party with you, to show around a new town
or to teach you a new skill or hobby.
Walker is a digital platform that connects you with
safe and reliable walking partners on-demand. But it’s more than just a walk…
it’s conversation, accountability, motivation, exploration, sightseeing, or
simply a new experience.