Innovation That Matters

The TULU Room at The Oskar building in New York | Photo source

Smart rental rooms reduce mass consumption during lockdown

Work & Lifestyle

A startup is setting up rental rooms in buildings that allow residents to rent products they need for a short time

Spotted: In big cities such as New York, most people live in rental accommodation. Many of these people are short of space and are also aware that buying expensive items they do not use very often is a waste of both money and resources. A Tel Aviv-based startup, called TULU, has a solution that could help both people and the planet. TULU sets up smart rooms in apartment buildings that are filled with appliances, tools and gadgets that can be rented by the hour, day or longer. The rooms are presently located in New York and Tel Aviv.

Users enter the room, scan the item they need and take it away with them, returning it when finished and paying only for the time they use. The items available include everything from pasta makers to Dyson vacuums, suitcases, video projectors and board games, all of which are from high-quality brands.

Up to now, the TULU rooms have been placed in high-density apartment buildings, dorms and large offices, but the company is interested in branching out to a wider variety of locations. Users choose a membership plan, and each time they use a product, the fee is deducted from their account. Prices are usually a few dollars per hour, but daily, weekend and longer rentals are available. 

According to TULU co-founder Yael Shemer, the company’s goal is to, “help and change the way people consume products. … Our solution doesn’t just tell people that they need to change their behaviour but actually shows them how to do it. This model gives people access to products that they might not necessarily want to own or can’t afford.”

During the COVID-19 lockdown, the company has also begun selling everyday consumer packaged goods and food products.

Lockdown aside, as more people are becoming aware of the need to conserve resources, the idea of renting rather than owning what you need may well catch on.  At Springwise, we have seen this with innovations such as tech rental and a platform that lets people rent out their stuff.

Explore more: Work & Lifestyle Innovations | Retail Innovations



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