Anouk Gillis often sports a pair of organic-cotton jeans she ordered online. But she doesn’t actually own them.
Rather than buying the pants, which retail for around €100 ($135), Ms. Gillis signed a 12-month lease with their designer, the small Dutch fashion label Mud Jeans. The terms: a €20 deposit and monthly installments of €5.
After a year, Ms. Gillis, who is also Dutch, can decide to buy the jeans, return them, or exchange them for a new pair.
“The idea was to make high-quality jeans available to everybody,” said Bert van Son, chief executive of Mud Jeans, which promises to recycle the used jeans into new pairs or sell them secondhand at the end of a lease.
The deal shows how companies are trying to reconnect with Europe’s cash-strapped consumers, who increasingly rely on renting, sharing or even bartering for products and services ranging from clothing to vacations to lawn mowing.
There is more here. For the pointer I thank the man who delivered my morning Wall Street Journal.