Sustainability Sunday // Fat Lama
Part Two in our Sustainability Sunday series of blog posts introduces the people and concept behind Fat Lama
Fat Lama is a site dedicated to 'borrowing stuff you need and lending stuff you don't '- genius!
The Independent says "Self-employed DJs , graphic artists, photographers and film-makers are adding an extra revenue stream by hiring out their equipment"
So not only from the point of view that Fat Lama helps reduce the purchasing of objects that would largely remain unused, but also works in a monetary sense
We had a chat to Chaz Englander CEO, to find out more about the logistics
What prompted you to work in the ethical field?
Fat Lama is a sharing economy peer-to-peer rental platform, a kind of Airbnb for stuff. We had the idea when another co-founder and I were trying to refurbish an office on a budget and repeatedly found ourselves having to buy items we only needed once. We were so frustrated by the way that this not only facilitating pointless production and needless waste, but it was also financially so inefficient. The products we used were only used once and they had a lot more life in them than they were getting in our cupboard. So it struck us, wouldn’t it be better for everyone if there was a service that allowed us to rent (not buy) the equipment we needed or even lend out the stuff we had already bought so it wasn’t wasted!
Whats your long game? What goals do you hope to acheive through running your business?
We’re already seeing a change in consumer attitudes towards renting over buying - the rise of other sharing economy apps like Airbnb, JustPark and Olio have shown that - also, an increasing proportion of peer-to-peer rentals on Fat Lama are simply not catered for by the existing, top-down rental industry. Ultimately, we’re aiming to change ownership behaviours entirely. We believe in a future where everything we own will be connected to a global digital inventory and accessible within minutes, at the touch of a button.
How do you intend to get there?
We are expanding as rapidly as possible (we launched in New York at the start of this year) it's only by exposure and normalising the idea of renting over buying that we will alter consumer attitudes.
Whats the single most important thing you've learnt about yourself through running your business / brand?
Persistence, it's been a long journey from the day we had the idea to where we are now and we are still not there yet. It would have been easy to give up at points or become overwhelmed by the challenge ahead but by persisting I have surprised myself at what's been possible.
If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Always back yourself.
What can we expect to see from you in the coming 6/12 months?
We have really big plans, top of the list is expanding across the major US cities but we will continue to grow organically in UK as well - I want everywhere from Ipswich to Inverness talking about us!
Who are your ethical brand heroes and why?
As a sharing economy start up, it's hard not to look to Airbnb as inspiration for changing the way people think about their resources. But the fact that their service is so much more energy efficient than a hotel is also remarkable - there’s a lot to admire about them. Outside this though, I think the work that the food industry innovator, Impossible Foods, is doing to combat the harmful emissions from the meat industry is amazing - I love the science behind it!
whats the soundtrack to your working day?
The office dog, Tizzy, barking when he's not allowed in meetings.
Start your own borrowing and lending journey here