Library of things: the dawn of virtuous capitalism?

Capitalism: definition and limitations

At the heart of capitalism is “capital“. This economic system is based entirely on the accumulation and free movement of capital. A well-oiled mechanism that’s achieved through the privatisation of means of production and the pursuit of profit through the multiplication of investments. In other words, a capitalist regime is governed by a handful of individuals who monopolise resources in order to amass wealth.

Nevertheless, overstretched by ruthless competition and the society’s growing demands, the workings of capitalism are at their limit. The system seems to be bogged down by a quick-and-dirty policy: produce more, faster and at a lower cost, to the detriment of ethics and the planet. This is a flaw that many consumers have criticized, especially since access to information has become so widespread via the Internet.

Capitalism is dead, long live virtuous capitalism

Today, secular capitalism is flirting dangerously with the obsolescence of its model. Shaken up by an increasingly unstable financial, social and environmental context, capitalism as we know it seems destined for the decline theorized by Marx. Or at least, for profound change. But few startups are engaged in a holistic reassessment of the capitalist horizon.

However, the concept of “committed consumption” continues to gain ground… and market share. It’s estimated that 66% of consumers consider brand transparency as the first factor in their selection process. To meet this requirement for clarity on the part of shareholders and buyers, corporate branding makes all the difference, through the promotion of an individualised vision and promise.

Library of things: at the service of virtuous capitalism

From the start, libraries of things were part of this model of virtuous capitalism. As a concrete response to the excesses of over-consumption caused by classical capitalist tendencies, these libraries reshape the system by advocating the circular economy: renting instead of buying, using instead of consuming, recycling instead of throwing away.

A stance that frees itself from the simple race for profit to meet not only consumer expectations, but also the needs of our future society. Without compromising the value chain.

Social and environmental concerns are the DNA of these new entrants. Concerns that are undermined by traditional actors. With a model such as the circular economy, social and environmental issues regain their footing and encourage higher standards.

These include the Library of Things in London, Lifethek in Hamburg, Tournevie in Brussels and La Manivelle in Geneva and Lausanne… Not to mention the Local Exchange Systems (LES), which include the exchange of items in addition to the traditional exchange of services.

Usitoo is facing the challenges of tomorrow’s world

By launching our library of items, we wanted to focus our research towards this virtuous capitalism. Far from a system that’s ill-adapted to the challenges ahead, we advocate an agile and sustainable model, based on strong and cohesive values.

Offering items for rent is accompanied by commitments representative of our vision. We work with local partners who have a say in the organization of our startup.

We also include the delivery in the service out of respect for man and the environment. We did the math and offering delivery is doubly virtuous:

  1. our users save time.
  2. we avoid crowding the city (even more), which would be the case if everyone had to come to our headquarters in Anderlecht. In one run, a single round trip, Usitoo delivers dozens of items (and, at the same time, collects those being returned). Much more eco-friendly than if each user had to do 2 round-trips to Usitoo.

Are you going to join the movement of virtuous capitalism that we’re advocating?

 

Our Usitoo cooperative proposes that individuals and private or public companies rent items rather than buy them. Have you considered it? Giving a second life to items is both a social and environmental act. More than 800 items are available to you in our catalogue. Renting is easy, fast, cheap and eco-friendly. 

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