Limited legislation has been passed to provide our Right to Repair, but there is still much more we can do. We can all take better care of our things. Make them last longer. We can learn to repair them, or find someone who can.
In the short term our local Council’s and Waste Authorities can help make a real difference. Some already do, but they can all do more.
They can also help with consumer awareness and education. They can help shift the culture from recycling (which is wasteful) to reuse and repair. Adding facilities to HWRCs (like the Fixing Factory in Brent). They can work in partnership with repair groups, charities and local independent repairers.
There is a wrote up for the panel discussions here.
The Islington Climate Centre are holding a number of sustainability and repair related events whilst the exhibition is installed. If you are interested in visiting, check out their website for dates and times.
The exhibition will be installed until 17 December 2022. The plan is to tour the exhibition to other locations in the UK during 2023. If interested please contact via the contact form.
Want a quick perspective on the problem? Try this video clip from UN Environmental Program.
Camden Fixing Factory was officially opened after Camden Mayor, Nasim Ali, cut the ribbon. There were also a number of other local politicians plus representatives from a number of local stakeholders and community groups. In addiction to the opening of the Queen’s Crescent Fixing Factory, the local community was also invited to take part in some hands-on fixing.
The aim is for these to become a ‘blueprint’ for Fixing Factories around the country, emulating the success of Kierrätyskeskus in Finland.
At the launch event there were demonstrations from Mer-IT of how to open your laptop, change hard drives, memory cards and batteries.
Whilst the main goal is to make electronics last longer, to prevent unnecessary e-waste and the huge amount of carbon emissions involved in the production and transport of new devices, such facilities also provide wider community benefits – they help increase high street activity, create local community events, training and potential job opportunities, improve local environmental performance and help with the cost of living crisis.
International FixFest was held in Brussels from 30 September to 2 October 2022. Delegates from around the world met in on-line and in person at Les Ateliers des Tanneurs to strengthen the community repair movement, share best practice and articulate demands for more repairable products.
The Festival of Ethical Photography was born in 2010 from an idea of the nonprofit organization Gruppo Fotografico Progetto Immagine, based in Lodi, Italy, with the intention of focusing on ethical content of great relevance, bringing the general public closer to social issues.
With the Restart Project we entered unbroken.solutions : Repair is Essential in the NGO Open Call and have been shortlisted for NONPROFIT WORLD 2022. The shortlist of twelve projects features many amazing projects by photographers working for some great non-profits doing essential work.
This Festival is an opportunity to showcase those projects alongside wider ethical photography and, this year, World Press Photo. The annual World Press Photo is the world’s most prestigious international contest for photojournalism.
From our perspective this is a great opportunity to showcase the importance of repair in a more sustainable world. We have the tools, we have many solutions, we just need to act.
The one-month long Festival takes place in Lodi, Italy from 24 September to 23 October.
Whilst typical Repair Cafés make a major contribution and help many people, their low frequency can create barriers. The lack of a permanent location can also present challenges storing tools, materials and spare parts. The logical solution would be to have community repair operating several days a week in an established location. One that is also able to run repair events and provide more extensive repair services or share tools via a Library of Things.
Bath Share and Repair opened the doors to the Share and Repair Shop in the centre of Bath. The first location was on Broad Street and had an incredible response, raising awareness of sharing and repairing in Bath. In August 2021 they moved to 3 York Buildings, George Street, which is now the new home for the Bath Library of Things and a place to run even bookable repair sessions.
So, it was great to connect with Vita at the Culture of Repair. Based in the Bay Area, California, their mission is simply: That Repair be an actionable and pervasive cultural value.
They focus on bringing repair to the classroom, to educate the next generation. Their efforts are currently looking to integrate Repair into maker programs in schools and educational non-profits, supporting community repair events, advocating for repair at the state and local levels, and, as always, promoting repair as a social value.
The Culture of Repair Project works exclusively in The East Bay and is currently concentrating on initiatives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA. However, their site contains lots of ideas and resources, for educators, for repair groups and for the general public, everywhere.
The study compared replacement versus factory or authorised repair for different Microsoft products. The product included Surface Pros, Surface Book and Laptop Studio.
The study found that, compared to device replacement, all forms of repair offer significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and waste reduction benefits. (For the devices studied, repairing can yield up to a 92% reduction in potential waste and emissions.)
It also found that design has significant potential to reduce carbon and waste impacts. Design for repair helps repair and reduces harmful impacts.
Finally, it highlighted that transportation logistics can play in contributing to overall GHG emissions associated with repair services. “To further reduce waste and GHG emissions, Microsoft is advised to take steps to expand repair locations and capabilities across more devices and to promote mail-to repair services“.
The first opened in the Abbey Road Reuse and Recycling Centre, Brent, on Saturday 23rd April. The Brent Fixing Factory will be hosted by the West London Waste Authority. Led by project partner Ready Tech Go, it will focus on repairing donated laptops and tablets and passing them on to people without digital access. People will be able to donate devices, see the repairs and find out about the project. Those keen to learn about repair will also have a chance to volunteer on the site and get work experience.
The second Fixing Factory opens in Camden. later in the summer. The aim is for these to become a ‘blueprint’ for Fixing Factories around the country, emulating the success of Kierrätyskeskus in Finland.
In conjunction with the launch, an event was hosted at nearby Alperton School giving pupils the opportunity to understand the importance of maintaining and repair their devices. They had practical hands on experience disassembling and reassembling mobile phones, and learning about the materials in the source of components. Pupils will also have an opportunity to get work experience at the new Fixing Factory.
Whilst the main goal is to make electronics last longer, to prevent unnecessary e-waste and the huge amount of carbon emissions involved in the production and transport of new devices, such facilities also provide wider community benefits – for students, for employment and to enable digital access.
Our desire electronic for electronics is literally eating the earth. The weight of material extracted and processed is often hundreds of times greater than the finished product. Much of it ends up as toxic waste, further damaging the planet.
Zeke Magazine Spring Issue features stories on environmental issues from around the world, including ‘Unbroken:Repair is Essential”.
For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.
We can all do something positive, keep our devices for longer, or get them repaired, or give them a second life through reuse, or simply donate them to charities to provide to others. Just keeping your device for one more year can have a significant positive impact.
Today is Earth Day. But it is not just one day. It is a day to change, for the good.