Events

Parliamentary Repair Cafe

Engaging UK MPs in the Right to Repair

On 7 May 2024, the Restart Project, Back Market, Community Repair Network, the Green Alliance and Design Council held an event to engage UK MPs in repair and reuse, to support the Right to Repair and to sign the Repair and Reuse Declaration.

Hosted by Helen Hayes MP, in the Jubilee Room at the Houses of Parliament, the event highlighted the impact of our electrical waste, our options for more repair and reuse and provided an opportunity to support or sign the Repair Declaration. There was also a repair cafe demonstrating repair and repairing items brought in.

Helen Hayes MP, addressing attendees at the Parliamentary Repair Cafe

Repair Cafe groups from all over the UK attended. The event was well attended and more MPs offered support and signed the Declaration. The Repair and Reuse Declaration asks the UK Government to:

Make repair more affordable, through tax reductions (80% support) and repair vouchers (79% support).

Expand the UK’s right to repair regulations to cover all consumer products, strengthen design standards and remove barriers to repair for everyone (85% support)

Introduce a repair index to help the public choose more repairable and durable products (80% support)

Introduce requirements and targets for reuse and repair to be prioritised over recycling and providing investment to make this a reality. This should be a key part of amended extended producer responsibility rules (83% support).

Support a new generation of repairers through repair training, accreditation and apprenticeships(85% support).

With a growing list of signatories and cross-party support an improved right to repair will hopefully become law in the next parliament and bring the UK back in one with Europe and US states.

Thank you to all the MPs who signed …. a step in the right direction.

act now

In the UK, councils and local authorities provide our best opportunity to make a meaningful improvements in repair and reuse capability; at least until we have a proper ‘right to repair’.

unbroken.solutions is starting a campaign to encourage greater support, by using a combination of exhibitions and a photobook and ‘zines’ to engage local councils and the public.

unbroken.solutions ‘pop-up’ exhibition at Hackney Sustainability Day in July 2023.

Some councils have already helped provide some funding, or access to facilities, or signposted community repair as an option. Examples such as Share and Repair in Bath, Re:Make Newport and the Fixing Factory in Camden show that community repair can be on the high street. This makes it more visible and available to many more people. But we can do much more.

The first part of the campaign is to distribute a photo book to 260 major councils and waste authorities in the UK. The photo book documents the impact and many solutions from across the world.

The ask is simple: to do more to support repair and reuse. The act now page on this site provides additional links to resources to support this.

In combination with the unbroken.solutions photobook an act now ‘zine’ has been produced to distribute via the community repair network, to the public, asking them to request more local solutions and capability.

Both the book and the zine have been produced in the UK to reduce environmental impact, using printers with strong eco-credentials and an ISO14001 environmental management system, designed to minimise manufacturing waste and using Carbon Neutral and FSC chain of custody sources of paper and card.

The campaign will distribute both the books and the zines over the next few months and encourage councils and the public to provide examples of action.

Second ‘Fixing Factory’ in London

Mark Phillips Events, News October 28, 2022 9 Comments

The second Fixing Factory was opened by the mayor in Camden.

The Restart Project in partnership with climate charity PossibleReady Tech GoWest London Waste Authority, and Mer IT, and with National Lottery Community Funding is creating new ‘Fixing Factories’ in London.  For more information see the dedicated Fixing Factory website.

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 final touches to the signage at Camden Fixing Factory

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.

Mer-IT explaining the insides of a laptop and how to upgrade parts, extending its life.

Volunteers at opening event

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.

Sian Berry AM (London Assembly Member – Greens) and Dermot Jones (Camden Fixing Factory in conversation

you can hear more about the Camden and Brent Fixing Factories are the Restarters Podcast.

FixFest 2022

Mark Phillips Events, News October 14, 2022 2 Comments

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.

It was organised by The Restart Project, in close collaboration with Belgian partners Repair Together and Repair & Share. I photographed the events throughout the weekend, including the protest outside Apple.

To find out more about FixFest 2022, see their Press Release

Preparing to protest outside Apple, Brussels

Nathan Proctor, US PIRG explaining the importance of repair, and why its needed

Panel discussion with delegates from Uganda, Argentina, Scotland and India

A manual of how to run Repair Cafes in schools (Germany)

Hands on – Team Repair session, developed by students from Imperial College, London

A mobile repair cafe, hosted an event for the public. Matthew repairing an iron.

The future is Fixing Factories or Share and Repair centres to build local capability

Further Photographs, images and captions are here

Ethical Photography Festival

Recovered copper and metals after ‘burning’ electronics

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.

First ‘Fixing Factory’ in London

Fixing Factory opens in Abbey Road, Brent

The Restart Project in partnership with climate charity PossibleReady Tech GoWest London Waste Authority, and Mer IT, and with National Lottery Community Funding is creating new ‘Fixing Factories’ in London.  For more information see the dedicated Fixing Factory website.

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. 

Discussing repairs at the new Fixing Factory, Brent

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.

Demonstration repairs at opening event in Brent

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.

Pupils at Alperton School learn about repair of mobile devices.

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.

April 22, Earth Day

Copper mine superimposed on London

Today is Earth Day. But it is not just one day.

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.