The idea

Stuffshare: A simple idea in which we all share stuff.

Freecycle meets Street Car: A stuff club.

  • Punch in your postcode, search the stuff you seek, see what the database brings forth!
  • List your stuff to share;
  • Seek weird stuff? (I once saw an ad for someone seeking dolls’ baby heads!) Post a request- you never know…
  • Leave +ve and -ve feedback about other ‘stuffers’ on an Ebay-style feedback system. This ensures stuff returns and is looked after.
  • You break, you fix or replace. Them’s the rules.

Homo economicus is not an evolutionary inevitability. Borrow don’t buy.

What social need does it address?

Wanna halt the repugnant and unsustainable march of consumerism? Or course you do.

So put your stuff where your mouth is (not literally, you’ll be sick)

Why? Because it’s so easy, obvious and and necessary that’s it’s almost laughable this isn’t yet being done.

We want, we buy – but we never ask around. B&Q profits soar on the rising waste from unwanted consumer goods, while community, sane society and real human contact tumbles into oblivion. Meanwhile identical drills sit side-by-side in identical cupboards under identical stairs all along your street.

DIY gear, festival tents, a once used goretex pen, fish kettles… all once seemed essential, now rarely, if ever, used. Yet day by day, we continue handing our money over to corporations for stuff our friends already have gathering dust in their lofts. And we never even think to ask.

This is, of course, insanity. But, happily, you can stop it… just Stuffshare.

What’s new about it?

Not currently happening.

What inspired you?

I was going to a music festival and ‘needed’ the usual list of camping items. I immediately headed off to Blacks and spend £100 I didn’t have on stuff I would only need and use once that year.

I then saw the weather forecast… rain, would you believe. After yomping round Hackney seeking wellies in vain, I called a friend who located a pair in his loft.

Whilst retrieving said items from said stuff-repository, I caught sight of identical versions of everything I had just bought, competing for space and dust among stacks of other similarly rejected products. Being in a particularly financially challenged phase of my life the wasteful insanity just hit me.

I have to admit to a little shame that it was personal poverty not environmentalism per se that motivated the idea… but never mind, whatever works.

Idea submitted by Seth Reynolds

Comments 12 Responses to Stuffshare

  • there’s an element of couchsurfing in there too. This could be done as a feature in any geographically based social network or community site. It might be worth thinking about it as a Drupal module or recipie than a whole new web site.

      |   March 17, 2008 — 1:42 am
  • I’m rally happy to be getting involved in this project at SI Camp.

    It’s going to be a tight deadline – just one weekend! So let us think what would be the highest value, baby steps to take during the weekend that would get the project well on its way.

      |   March 18, 2008 — 2:06 pm
  • Absolutely fantastic idea! I love it!

    Maybe the website could go even further and allow borrowers to loan the stuff out to another person too. As long as the ‘owner’ had some kind of ‘return to home’ request when they need it back!

      |   March 18, 2008 — 5:11 pm
  • Reminds me of

    However is working on this project should definitely get in touch with them because they’ve learnt some lessons about how to make it work after having to close their first site down.

    Really great no-brainer idea though so good luck! :)

      |   March 20, 2008 — 3:11 pm
  • hi! I’m working on, which does (imho) that.
    there are other sites on this venue:
    borrowme was mentioned but seems a bit dead to me,, (which came up with an interesting “3rd person/doorman” idea),, (which is very nice but not private enough for my taste), has also a stuff sharing aspect,
    and others (these are just my faves, after traxtuff :) ).
    some other sites target renting and offer lending as a by product.

    I’ll be very happy to chat :),
    you can find me at
    yonatan_karni [at] yahoo [dot] com

      |   March 21, 2008 — 1:48 pm
  • alejandro

    I’d love to make it down, just noticed sicamp existed, I’m so out of touch.

    Anyway, my suggestions are to really debate and decide first on the nature of the sharing – should it be a loan, should it be given, or should it even not dictate the nature and give freedom to how people decide to share – long term return, or given in exchange etc…

    And can you make it freecycle compatible, as in you enter data, and it outputs as a freecycle email too, so feeds in replies as well if you let it… I’m sure the yahoo api or just email libs will let you do this. And that’s what I’d add to it.


      |   March 29, 2008 — 3:34 pm
  • seth

    Thanks for the comments and links everyone.
    It’s great to know there are so many like minds out there trying similar things so hopefully we’ll be able to contribute something useful.
    There’s obviously lots of different ways of doing this so I think it’s best to see what emerges as the consensus for the best strategy over the weekend. I look forward to working with some of you there… and continuing the conversation thereafter..

      |   April 1, 2008 — 11:07 pm
  • shelley metcalfe

    Having recently spent a wodge of money on a ladder which I’ll probably only use once a year, I’ve been thinking about a similar idea ( which would enable networks of to share their belongings… a straw poll amongst local mates suggested that people would be prepared to lend a whole variety of things, from hedge-trimmers to handbags…

    We’ve been debating everything from the transaction mechanic (money/credit vs ratings and recommendations) through to the online interface (facebook application/open-source build/bespoke build?) – love to carry on the conversation with you. I’m Hackney-based too, so there may be an opportunity to do something locally?

    Best of luck, is a fab idea.

      |   April 7, 2008 — 7:52 am
  • “Stuffshare | Social Innovation Camp” seriously got me simply
    hooked on ur web-site! Iwill certainly be back more frequently.
    Many thanks -Hung

      |   January 23, 2013 — 6:55 am

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