Fritidsbanken is a non-profit business for free lending of used sports and leisure equipment donated by individuals, companies and organisations.
Fritidsbanken provides people of all ages the opportunity for sport, play and leisure regardless of their economic or financial situation. At Fritidsbanken you can borrow and test equipment before purchasing, which reduces erroneous purchases and overconsumption. Fritidsbanken provides the opportunity for people who are far from having a job to get to perform rehabilitation work, internships and holiday work. The primary stakeholders for Fritidsbanken are Västerbotten's sports federation and the Municipality of Umeå.

All equipment at Fritidsbanken is reused and lent repeatedly to different people. In this way, the potential use of the equipment is maximised. This is a highly refined form of reuse and a genuine sharing service. In 2019 Fritidsbanken in Umeå lent out over 42 000 articles and participated in 141 events in the region. Fritidsbanken has approximately 8 000 items for rental, of which 1300 are para-sporting equipment.

Fritidsbanken in Umeå was inaugurated in April 2018 and is the Fritidsbank in Sweden that lends out the most equipment. It is located in the district of Ålidhem where many students live and is close to Umeå University as well as several schools.

The equipment donated is thoroughly scrutinised. Broken items are repaired or used as spare parts. The loan period is for a maximum of 14 days and free of charge. The borrower is responsible for safety, such as using a helmet and protection. If something breaks, there is no liability for compensation.

Resources needed

As the service provided by Fritidsbanken is free, no direct income is generated, and the business is therefore dependent on financial support. The staff consists of permanent employees, volunteers and persons in rehabilitation work training schemes.
Fritidsbanken also relies on an influx of sports

Evidence of success

Fritidsbanken in Umeå was nominated for the European Transformative Action Award 2019 and also won Umeå Municipality’s environmental award 2019.
For the 2019 financial year until November:
• number of items loaned 42 712
•number of articles in the range are approximately 8 000 registered and available for lending.
•number of employees 2.75 positions
•number of rehab work trainees 3 positions
•number of volunteers 13
•number of summer youth workers 12
•number of events 141

Difficulties encountered

Grant dependency. If the conditions from contributors changes the business becomes vulnerable. This can be mitigated by building a mosaic of different types of support.
Securing a steady inflow of products is essential. It is important to work with different sources as these can vary over time.

Potential for learning or transfer

Fritidsbanken is an established business with a 300m2 facility, 8 000 items to lend out and almost 43 000 items having been loaned in 2019. Fritidsbanken can showcase the business and provide experience to others who want to start up a similar business. There are almost 100 Fritidsbanken locations in Sweden, of which the one in Umeå is the unit lending out most equipment.

The key area for experience exchange which Fritidsbanken can contribute to is demonstrating the potential of reuse within a niche segment. Traditionally, reuse has often covered all types of reuse products. By focusing on a niche segment Fritidsbanken makes it easier for customers, as the experience is more similar to conventional shopping. Customers wanting sports and leisure equipment can go to a specific sports and leisure equipment reuse establishment. In the case of Fritidsbanken, this is non-profit, but the principle of niche segment reuse can just as easily be applied to commercial reuse enterprises.

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Main institution
County Administration Board of Västerbotten
Övre Norrland,
Start Date
March 2018
End Date


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