Survey: Today I take to rent a pair of shoes!

Presentation of survey results conducted in Italy to assess how the circular economy can generate new models of market development.
Are Italians willing to take to rent a pair of shoes? 42% said yes!

The document of European Commission published December 2015 Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the circular economy, indicates that “Innovative forms of consumption can also support the development of the circular economy, e.g. sharing products or infrastructure (collaborative economy), consuming services rather than products, or using IT or digital platforms”.

In particular the transition from the product to the service is an aspect which in recent years has found many applications in the market, such as for vehicles, electrical and electronic appliances, music, movies, etc …
Many companies from different sectors are evaluating the pay-per-use as a strategy for their products to encourage new market strategies. Although the interest of business is commercial with economic profit, the transition from product to product-service identifies circular economy strategies (maybe the most important), to encourage the preservation, recovery and reuse of natural resources used. The possibility to extend the product life cycle and increase recycling rates, are just two of obtainable environmental benefits.

As MATREC, in collaboration with Marco Capellini sustainable design & consulting office, we are developing different projects with companies, to understand the environmental and economic benefits will obtain to carry on a circular economy strategies that considers innovative consumer styles: pay-per-use and sharing economy. As part of this activity, and as a result of a mapping of new areas to be involved in the projects, we decided to start from footwear industry, which for Italy is an international leading sector.
Today, the shoes sold in Italy every year are about 200 million pairs: except for a few pilot project, these shoes arrived at the end of life, are not recycled.
A part of the footwear is bounded to dumpsters of “used clothes collection”, but most of the shoes are bounded to undifferentiated collection. Leather, rubber, plastic and cork, in many cases noble materials, are not recovered and recycled.

Shoes that we purchased and in some cases we use every day, in other cases for a season or for important events. Fashion and trendy shoes that to end of season are definitely leaved in some shoe rack: why we must pay for something that we don’t use always?
To answer this and other questions as Matrec, we decided to ask to almost a thousand Italians what they think of the possibility not to buy shoes but to take them for rent. For someone the impact was strong, for others there was interest and, as evidenced by the survey results, it is a strategy that the market can undertake.
It is not a challenge, it is not a provocation, but I think it’s a great market opportunity for enhancing environmental and economic aspects.
Sure, at first time it is necessary to plan and design the management and optimization of shoes: this is not frightening because it is a sector where someone has already left.

This is the first survey that as MATREC, in collaboration with Marco Capellini sustainable design & consulting office and firms, we developed to assess how the circular economy can generate the creation of new market models.

In the report there are general information and summary of the survey.



Toward a national circular economy strategy
Product design and value of territoriality