The "sharing" economy is various groups of people that share many resources in exchange for services, ideas, other goods, a place to sleep, money, a parking spot, and so on. The internet has paved the way for collaborators to connect and share resources. Why buy something off the runway, when you can rent a Nicole Miller dress for $75? Realistically speaking how often would one wear a runway dress anyways? The "sharing" economy has evolved for many different reasons and ideologies such as a need to conserve financial resources, a desire to be more environmentally friendly, an interest in creating more of a sense of community online, and as a means to use an exchange other than currency.
The trend is rising in popularity among the Generation Y demographic. The linked article attributes this phenomena to the fact that few 18-29 year-olds are married and looking to the prospect of buying a home, having children, and saving for retirement. Generation Y is immersed in the fast-paced world of technology and wants to be happier now rather than happy later. Nowadays renting is not perceived the same as it was several years ago like customers at Rent-A-Center.
The "sharing" economy faces several challenges such as a plethora of legal issues, tax consequences, zoning laws, licensing requirements, insurance protection, and other forms of regulation and compliance. I foresee in the near future passage of more laws specifically prohibiting practices of the "sharing" economy. I think the "sharing" economy collaborations will make for some interesting tax laws. I'm sure one could easily trade their tax expertise for, I don't know, miming lessons. Does the "sharing" economy pose a threat to the traditional business model, and if so how will the traditional businesses respond?