Usually found out on some extreme expedition to the Himalayas or the North and South Poles, Alexander Gamme knows a bit about gear. However, when he now enters the outdoor industry, the focus is not on the products – but on the business model. Enter Pinsj, a digital platform where outdoor enthusiasts can rent, donate, buy or sell gear from each other.

First, could you give Suston’s readers the elevator pitch. What problem is Pinsj seeking to solve exactly?

There are a lot of start-ups out there, but nobody is really challenging the branch to adopt a more sustainable business model. The fact is that we can’t keep up business as usual.  That’s where Pinsj comes in, as an ongoing experiment on changing consumer behaviour for the better. We want to contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable outdoor community, using an uncompromising approach to re-use and resale.

 

Can you expand on this and explain how Pinsj works? And what differentiates it from the many other similar platforms out there?

We offer a peer-to-peer platform that connects those who have gear with those who need it. And what makes Pinsj unique from others is that it offers both rental and resale of used gear. Through partnerships, we have also begun to make it possible to advertise these product on the platforms of select outdoor actors.

So, say for example you have an extra tent that’s been gathering dust on the shelf. You can choose both a rental rate as well as a sales price for this tent, and advertise both on Pinsj as well as an outdoor retailer’s platforms.

Among other things, this versatility has the advantage of meeting the generational challenges that the sharing economy runs into. While those under 40 years old are able to warm to the idea of renting, my generation of 45+ is bent on ownership. Pinsj offers something for everybody.

 

You mention that Pinsj connects those who have gear with those in need of it. Just curious, which one are you?

You might be surprised to learn that I actually don’t own all that much gear these days. But the gear I do own, which I think could be useful, I have put on the platform. In fact, I just got back my expedition tent after a two week rental!

 

How should brands and retailers interpret start-ups like Pinsj? As you say, you’re out to disrupt the market – their market. Are you a threat, a partner, or something else entirely?

Over the years I’ve led many workshops and worked with many brands, and leave with almost the same result each time: Just talk. That’s because they’re stuck in a dilemma where they want to realize sustainability goals, but at the end of the day get stuck with an entrenched focus on their businesses’ bottom line. It’s understandable, as it’s risky to try out new business models. But they all know that business as usual can’t go on.

With this in mind, I make a point of asking the hard questions in these situations: What are you doing for a better future? Are you actually the positive force you want to be, or a negative one? No matter what the marketing says, most brands are still turning out the maximum number of products, which still mostly end up in the garbage. If brands and retailers are serious about turning this around, they’ll need to turn to other models. So that’s why I’d say we should be seen not as a threat but as partners. And if anyone wants to sit down and talk about how we can work together – I’m happy to personally take that meeting!

 

 

Photo: Aleksander Gamme/Pinsj

Jonathan Eidse
jonathan.eidse@norragency.com
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