OLIO, an app first launched to enable the redistribution of unwanted food items within communities, has expanded its service to provide users with the ability to share unwanted household items, such as toiletries, cosmetics and cleaners.
Following research by OLIO which found that one in five Britons said they would be more likely to buy second-hand goods after the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU ), the app has expanded to allow users to buy, sell, and donate. household items as well as food products.
Research implies that Britons will be more careful with how they spend their money after the Brexit decision and that 58% of those polled had bought a second-hand item in the past month. This research coincides with the decision to make OLIO more than a simple food redistribution application.
“Magic” of the community and the economy of resources
The founders of the app, Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One, believe that the app will allow users not only to save money and reduce waste, but also to “experience the magic of save something of value and interact with a neighbor “.
The app works the same for all food and household items: users upload a photo of the item to the app and neighbors and other nearby users can receive personalized alerts for newly listed items. They then request the item they want and arrange to pick it up at home, in an OLIO drop box or other agreed location via private courier.
Cook said: “The amount of food we throw away is absolutely shocking, but it’s only part of the unnecessary waste we create. Who doesn’t have drawers full of toiletries, kitchen equipment and unwanted gifts that collect dust when they could be happily used by a neighbor?
“When it comes to cleaning or decluttering the spring, OLIO offers a much better option than just throwing things in the trash, where they just end up in a landfill. With a few clicks on the app, anyone can either donate these items to others in their local community, request a donation to charity, or even sell them.
Successful food redistribution
The OLIO app, launched in January, has been used more than 300,000 times and has prevented 100,000 food items from landfill in the past eight months.
The founders of the app say they were inspired not only to help reduce the £ 12.5 billion of food thrown away by UK households each year, but also to create more connected communities. A YouGov poll conducted by the company found that 86% of 1,610 adults polled said they had been “bothered” by throwing out their edibles, with two-thirds saying households were most responsible for the problem.
The app has been used to redistribute excess locally grown vegetables, foods approaching their expiration date in local stores, and groceries that will not be consumed when families go on vacation or move.
OLIO was also chosen by Sainsbury’s as one of the first retail tech start-ups the supermarket has partnered with in their £ 1million ‘Waste Less, Save More’ campaign at Swadlincote , Derbyshire this year. More than 100 users signed up within a month of the app’s launch in the city, with locals swapping items such as jams, chutneys, mung beans, cereals and sauces.
The success of the application since its launch at the beginning of the year has led it to expand to 38 countries, including the entire EU, the United States, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
You can find more information about OLIO on the app’s website.