When his favorite camping chair broke and he couldn’t buy a new one anywhere, founder Alon Elhanaty realized that something crucial was missing at festivals: a camping shop!
He decided that if nobody else was doing it, he would. With that idea in mind, Alon finally found a solution for another big problem he had been observing at festivals: the enormous amounts of left-behind camping equipment.
Worn out and tired, many festival visitors simply leave their tents and interior as trash. Alon understood that this was simply wrong, as the majority of the things were in perfect shape and could easily be reused.
How We Turned Our Idea Into A Business
In 2012, Alon started collecting abandoned camping equipment together with a couple of like-minded friends. They took a minivan, drove to Tomorrowland festival in Belgium and started selling the refurbished equipment to visitors at the entrance. They were sold out before the actual start of the festival.
With such great demand, selling the equipment would leave Alon with no stock at the end of each festival. So, he came up with the idea of renting it out.
Today, Utopia Camping has a 150 sqm storage room with thousands of items. We can accommodate up to 2,000 people with second-hand equipment, which can be rented via our easy to use booking system online and fully equipped on-site camping shop.
We still collect as well as directly buy from visitors who don’t want to take their gear back home. We are constantly developing new and creative solutions to tackle the waste at festivals: repairing equipment on the spot, sorting out materials from irreparable items, and creating new products from them.