Less Shop, More Share: Yerdle One-ups Freecycle With Sharing Circles
New sharing site Yerdle enables friends to easily share goods and services amongst themselves.
That shabby couch on your street with a paper "Free, Take Me" sign. A "You Haul It, You Keep It," Craigslist post. Barely used baby gear on Freecycle. These are the sorts of things that might come to mind when you hear about a new "sharing marketplace." But Yerdle is the grown-up version of these types of exchanges—the slick new site, launched with a giant giveaway day on Black Friday, enables friends and friends of friends to share quality goods and services easily amongst themselves without fear of inheriting useless junk or meeting with an unreliable stranger.
Yerdle is the brainchild of Andy Rubin, former chief sustainability officer for Walmart, and Adam Werbach, who you might have heard described at various points in his career as the youngest executive director ever of the Sierra Club, the guy who helped green WalMart and pissed off the environmental movement in the process, or the founder of Saatchi & Saatchi S, the green-focused arm of one of the world's largest communications firms.
"For a long time I've been having this nagging feeling that we're winning some battles, but not the war, when it comes to consumption, and I've been having a lot of conversations with Andy about how you get to the next level of change," Werbach says. "Not just something that's a little better, like stuff made out of recycled plastic, but something truly better."
Those conversations were the seed from which Yerdle grew, and Werbach watered the idea with a recent trip to India. "I took a trip to Mumbai and I met with these women who were setting up sharing circles—these beautiful block-by-block communities where 20 families would save money together, share goods, decide together on what new things to buy, and commit to spreading the word and the ideals of local self empowerment and resource sharing," he says. "I was so blown away by this, I was like how can I help you? And they said well, you should start a sharing circle."