Olio Stories: Teaching lessons through sharing

Olio updates 3 min read

Emma’s journey with Olio began a couple of years ago. She first heard about it from a friend whose husband collected some sushi from a neighbour through the app. Intrigued, Emma decided to explore what Olio had to offer. 

Emma soon became an active participant, both giving and receiving items. Her husband Tom, a teacher, quickly saw the potential of Olio in sourcing materials for his classroom (especially amidst budget cuts to school funding).

He’s an early years teacher, so it’s lots of role play and sensory learning.  He’s furnished this area in his classroom purely from Olio and it’s all stuff that the school can’t afford to give him a budget for.

From furniture to utensils, Tom used Olio to transform his classroom, creating an enriching environment for his students while minimising waste….

Quite often he’s late home from work and I’m asking, where are you? He’s like, I’m just driving around collecting Olio things for school! Recently he picked up some tyres someone was getting rid of, so he’s used those to plant stuff with the kids. Often small chairs appear in the back of the car, or kitchen utensils and arts and crafts bits and pieces.

Sharing on Olio hasn’t just supported local schoolchildren.  It’s also helping Tom and Emma teach a valuable lesson in sharing and fighting waste. Emma recalled the joy of sharing items her own children have outgrown, knowing they’ll find new life with someone else. She reflected how it’s been the perfect way to help set an example to her children that second-hand should be the norm and that we don’t always have to buy new. 

Kids go through phases so quickly, I don’t want to go out and buy a load of monster trucks because it’ll be a passing phase, but I love it when I see something on Olio and I can give it to them. My daughter’s really into handbags at the moment, someone put a handbag up around the corner and I gave it to her which she loved. I like that they’re seeing consumption from this perspective – second-hand items are really great and we don’t have to waste things.

What’s the best item you’ve found on Olio?

Lots of things! I’m a bit of a sucker for plants, so when there’s a plant being given away I’ll often request it. I’ve picked up a pair of jeans that I love, I was wearing a scarf the other day that I picked up from someone. I’ve got a coffee table that someone was getting rid of that is just the right size for my living room.

What’s the number one thing you love about Olio?

I hate waste, so I hate buying new when I could find it second-hand elsewhere which stops it going into landfill too, so that definitely motivates me. And it works both ways, often my kids have outgrown something and I don’t know anyone who would benefit from it personally, but it’s lovely that I can put it on Olio and someone will pick it up from my doorstep and use it.

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