Usitoo: a functional economy catalogue that lengthens the use-time of products
Many consumers purchase appliances (for household activities, gardening, construction, leisure time, etc.) that they only use a few times a year. To prevent such purchases, a Belgian cooperative enables its customers to rent these through a catalogue instead.
Active in Brussels and Walloon Brabant, Usitoo believes it is much smarter to recycle, repair, and donate than purchase individually. Its business model is to return to an economy of functionality by prioritizing use over possession and therefore adopting a more sustainable and environmentally friendly consumption model.
The Usitoo community is made up of 3 overlapping categories:
- cooperators, who finance the project and together ensure the smooth running and good management of the resources
- the members, called Usiteurs, who make use of the service by choosing to borrow rather than to buy
- the Usitoo team, which ensures the sustainability of the service and the development of the community from a logistical, IT and strategic point of view.
- Usitoo has a catalogue of hundreds of items made available to its users in Brussels and Walloon Brabant
- By renting through the Usitoo service, but also selling or donating to Usitoo, users lower their "dead storage", while items in the Usitoo catalogue are used to the fullest during their whole life cycle
- Usitoo’s goal is to serve more than 15,000 individual users by the end of 2021, who - combined - will carry out more than 175,000 item rentals
- Achieving this goal would prevent the production of 70,000 tons of CO2 by 2021
- To make it "easy and fast" for customers, rented items are made available to them at one of Usitoo's handover points, conveniently located in the customer's vicinity (and the network of such delivery points includes new locations each month).