We got used to sharing cars with strangers. We'll get used to renting furniture too.
Whether you are an expat, someone who wants to live on your own beyond your parents’ shadow, or explore life together as a couple, the practical aspect of moving to a new apartment is never exactly fun. You have a million things to think about to make your new home as perfect as possible. The last thing you would want to worry about is the furniture, especially given the money, effort, space, and time required to make sure it fits your lifestyle.
Furniture what now?
Enter furniture rentals: another facet of the ever-evolving sharing economy. What is furniture rental? It’s exactly as it sounds like. Instead of buying furniture, you rent it. Rental companies offer furniture for lease from a few months, to a couple of years. These companies may either produce and own their own products, or buy and offer them for rent. Yet other companies act as marketplaces instead, in which case other furniture providers use them as platforms to help meet the demand. And if you think it is all about tables, chairs and sofas alone, think again. Some companies also include furnishings, gadgets, and appliances for rent.
As foreign a proposition as it sounds, let’s not forget that not quite 10 years ago, we were willingly paying strangers to get into their car to be driven to our destination, sometimes with other strangers as fellow passengers too! As another offering in the increasingly widespread sharing economy, furniture rental is an example of a service that is borne of the mobile lifestyles of a growing population.
The case for renting furniture
The commitment to owning furniture usually indicates that one is ready to settle down, or at least staying put for the mid to long-haul. After all, you can’t just pack up a chaise lounge into your suitcase, click your heels and move on to the next place when the mood strikes.
However as lifestyles are shaped by modern workplaces and hybrid jobs to allow more mobility, people are preferring to centre their lives around where new opportunities take them. This makes the “no restrictions, no strings attached” attitude of furniture rental very accommodating of this lifestyle.
There is no long-term responsibility typical of traditional furniture ownership. This also opens up the option of being more flexible with what you choose to personalise your space with, without having to be anchored to something until you have to get rid of it. And even when you do, there would be no need to find affordable movers or whom to bequeath that chair or coffee table to – especially helpful when you plan to move into a new space that may not necessarily be as generously accommodating.
It's good for the earth, truly
Sustainability is another major benefit to furniture rental. A growing global population is bound to put further strain on the planet’s already stretched resources. Like fast fashion, fast furniture means cheap, mass-produced furniture of poor durability intended to serve a very fleeting purpose. The short life cycle of fast furniture is yet another taxation on our overburdened waste problem. Furniture rental helps alleviate this problem by reducing consumption of fast furniture and providing consumers with high-quality products at a fraction of retail prices.
Did someone say "furniture rental"?
Which brings us to a very special announcement. As a proponent of sustainable living, we have launched Hmlet Furniture to offer furniture rental services! You may rent our furniture with a minimum lease of three months. Our furniture is designed to be classic and timeless, ensuring they are versatile enough to fit with any interior.
We’re also extremely conscious about how our furniture is made. We are working with green materials from FSC-accredited suppliers and manufacturers who use low-waste production methods. By being directly connected with our manufacture, we also have more transparency and involvement in the production process. While we are currently only available in Singapore, we have plans to expand to other cities in the future.
While renting may be attractive for people who see life as always in motion, the appeal can be a lot wider. Surely it benefits expats moving between cities and countries and people who have to move a few times a year even within the same city, but it also makes sense to couples who decide to move in together for the first time, university students and of course, environmentally conscious consumers who want to reduce the carbon footprint of their consumer choices.
For these reasons at the very least, furniture rental is a very viable and sustainable option. And with growing awareness of its benefits and promise of convenience – a prized commodity in our ever-speedy pace of life – it is poised for further adoption and to become the next big thing in the sharing economy.
Are you convinced that furniture rental is the way to go? Or do you think it's a fad that will fizzle out eventually? Either way, if you're curious to dip your toes in to find out more, visit Hmlet Furniture. We are now open for business!