Jo Spolton is the founder of Rumage, a brilliant online platform that makes it super-easy for people to find – and buy – exactly what they’re looking for across a wide range of secondhand marketplaces.
Jo is a Fine Art graduate and was a professional racing sailor. Her adventures when sailing around the world opened a window, showing how badly global consumption is affecting our planet.
On the Rumage website, under a heading that says “let’s make secondhand first choice”, Jo explains why she’s driven to do this, saying: “I wanted my children to grow up knowing that as consumers they have a choice. Fast fashion, our disposable economy, always buying new is unsustainable. Buying second hand means less resources being used up, less energy, less manufacturing, less shipping, less landfill. The choice is ours. Rumage.com is here to make it easy.”
In this episode, Jo Spolton tells us how she came up with the idea for Rumage, and shares some of the challenges of starting up, including creating a basic test product, getting clear on what customers really want, and the difficulties of securing funding.
Jo talks us through her insights on customer trends, and how people are moving away from ownership and towards renting, sharing and subscriptions.
Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer. Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started. Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).
Stay in touch for free insights and updates…
Read on for a summary of the podcast and links to the people, organisations and other resources we mention.
Don’t forget, you can subscribe to the podcast series on iTunes, Google Podcasts, PlayerFM, Spotify, TuneIn, or search for “circular economy” in your favourite podcast app. Stay in touch to get free insights and updates, direct to your inbox…
You can also use our interactive, searchable podcast index to find episodes by sector, by region or by circular strategy. Plus, there is now a regular Circular Economy Podcast newsletter, so you get the latest episode show notes and links delivered to your inbox on Sunday morning, each fortnight. The newsletter includes a link to the episode page on our website, with an audio player. You can subscribe by clicking this link to update your preferences.
Links we mention in the episode:
- A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business – buy from any good bookseller, or direct from the publisher Kogan Page, which ships worldwide (free shipping to UK and US) and you can use discount code CIRCL20 to get 20% off. It’s available in paperback, ebook and Kindle. If you buy it from online sources, make sure you choose the new edition with an orange cover!
- Sign up to get the podcast player and shownotes for each new episode emailed to your inbox
- Jo Spolton on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-spolton-46ab923/
- Rumage website https://rumage.com/
- Twitter and Instagram @GoRumage: https://twitter.com/GoRumage https://www.facebook.com/GoRumage https://www.instagram.com/gorumage/
- Rumage on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/7776848
Books, people and other companies we mentioned:
- The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber https://www.michaelegerbercompanies.com/product/the-e-myth-revisited/
- Episode 31 with Tom Fecarotta of Rheaply https://www.rethinkglobal.info/episode-31-tom-fecarotta-of-rheaply/
- Episode 32 with Christian van Maaren of Excess Materials Exchange https://www.rethinkglobal.info/episode-32-christian-van-maaren-of-excess-materials-exchange/
- Episode 37 with Lieke van Kerkoven of FLOOW2 https://www.rethinkglobal.info/episode-37-lieke-van-kerkoven-of-floow2/
About Jo Spolton
Jo Spolton is a Central Saint Martins Fine Art graduate and was a professional sailor with the British Match Racing team. However it was her round the world sailing that unveiled the impact global consumption was having on the planet.
She grew her first website, a kids clothes and toys marketplace with a local twist, to national coverage, but observed fragmentation of the space was preventing people from making it their first choice.
It was an obvious solution to aggregate all the sites and surprisingly it was still unchartered water, so she pivoted and Rumage was the result.
Rumage is an award winning business which provides a fast and efficient aggregation of the second-hand sector. We help people make second-hand a viable first choice. Changing consumption habits will reduce landfill and the environmental stresses resulting from consumer lead demand.
Want to dig deeper?
Why not buy Catherine’s award-winning book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy. Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
Please let us know what you think of the podcast – and we’d love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts. Or send us an email…
Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’. Or, follow them on Twitter.