What's In Your Neighbour's Closet?

Save money by lending and borrowing locally


Ecomodo co-founder Meriel Lenfestey with some of the stuff being lent and borrowed




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Sammy in the pub has a sewing machine, Ahmed next door has a tent, Maria at the school does henna painting, Len up the road has a steam cleaner, Rosie at the gym has a set of bunting, and my friend Jack’s neighbour has a garden he can’t manage any longer... I’ve probably got 20 things I keep ‘just in case’, or because ’I use them once a year’, spread between my shed, my loft, my cupboards and under my bed.

Ecomodo.com is a website which aims to create a new market in lending and borrowing the things that we seldom use within our communities. Lenders can choose to lend for free, for a fee or for charity. Borrowers get access to things they want without spending lots of money, and without having to find space to store yet more stuff. The environment benefits, new social connections are made and good causes have a brand new fundraising opportunity.

The Ecomodo team did their research to understand the barriers to lending, so they’ve built various safeguards into the system to give everyone peace of mind.

People can set up or join lending ‘circles’, e.g. street, workplace, school parents, friends etc. This allows lenders to restrict who can request their items to the people with whom they already have some grounds for trust. Ecomodo manages the whole lend, holding any money until everything is complete and feedback is left, even dealing with any disputes. The lender can choose to take a deposit and add insurance. Everyone’s address and contact details are kept private until both sides have agreed.

Ecomodo is free and quick to join. By joining you can add items to lend, post up wanted ads for things you’d like to borrow, join and create circles and receive a newsletter telling you about items and wanted ads in your area.



6 July 2010



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