One day, we’ll return to bartering.

Published on 20/12/19

Lending tools, babysitting, house or clothes swaps…driven by social networks and a changing conscience, this resurgence in bartering is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives. More than a passing fashion, it’s a truly sustainable trend.

PUMPIPUMPE.CH: bartering posted on your letterbox

What a great idea: a pack of stickers which features no less than 50 day-to-day objects (from a lawnmower to ping pong bats and cake moulds) which you stick on your letterbox together with the wording: “I lend”. PUMPIPUMPE’s concept is to develop bartering and exchange between neighbours. And they love it!  Launched in 2012, the Swiss non-profit association already appears on almost 20,000 letterboxes across Europe. And you can exchange “experiences” too…

Wwoofing is bartering too.

No, it’s not a new winter sport. It’s a global movement whose acronym means World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. The idea is simple: offer those who want to get out into the countryside all-inclusive farms stays in exchange for giving a hand around the farm (gardening, vegetable growing and all other farm work). The concept is not new (it goes back to England in 1971), but spurred on by a desire to return to the land, it is developing around the world.

What about retailers?

Certain well-established retailers have been at it a while. Take a look at DECATHLON and its Trocathlon or TROC.COM. The movement is such that there are new players ready for a piece of the action. GREENDY PACT is a new boutique concept that offers customers the opportunity to update their wardrobe…without buying any clothes.

How it works: drop your unwanted clothes at the shop and earn Greendies: credits you can then spend in the shop on donated clothes. The first boutique opens in France in January. It’s one to watch…

So tomorrow, will we all be “barterers”?

Swap time, food, clothes, tools…for a set period or for good, it’s a sustainable trend that combines our quest for purpose with developing a sense of gratitude and respect for oneself and the environment. So, should bartering be integrated into the customer journey? Definitely…