To build a repair economy we need:
Many initiatives already exist. They can be deployed elsewhere, providing an accelerator to solutions. As a starting point, the links and references here identify resources for exploration, inspiration, access and support:
The Open Repair Alliance is an international group of organisations committed to working towards a world where electrical and electronic products are more durable and easier to repair.
For extensive on-line repair guides, repairability assessments, tools and spare parts, see iFixit. They are now partnering with manufacturers like Apple, Google Pixel, Microsoft and Samsung to help them improve the repairability of their designs.
Community repair events are run by Repair Cafés and the Restart Project. The Restart Project also provide a repair directory for commercial repairers, primarily in London. In Glasgow the ReMade network provide affordable drop-off repair services to help communities repair their broken things. In Bath, Share and Repair run repair cafe events and have a pop-up repair shop and Library of Things where people can borrow tools and items that they only occasionally need and avoid waste.
In Europe, R2REurope – the Right to Repair campaign was launched in September 2019, and quickly grew to over 40 organisations, from more than 16 European countries. The campaign members represent community repair groups, environmental activists, social economy actors, self-repair advocates and any citizen who would like to obtain their right to repair.
RREUSE is an international non-profit network supporting the development of social enterprises in the circular economy through innovative policies and partnerships, and the exchange of best practices.
Advocating the right to repair in USA are the Repair Association. with members iFixit, USPIRG, and Secure Repairs. Also with a US focus, but covering events more globally is SecuRepairs’ founder Paul Roberts Fight to Repair substack, which provides regular updates on news, changes in legislation on the fight and right to repair, and FixitClinic run regular in person and Zoom based repair events. In Canada there is CanRepair.
There is also a monumental website dedicated to the Culture of Repair with lots of links and resources, including those for educators. They have a more extensive list of resources and initiatives here.
Recycling is not the first or best option for electrical and electronic devices. First look after them, maintain and repair them, refurbish them, and reuse them (or sell on). Then, if you can no longer repair, scavenge them for parts (to repair other devices) and only then look to recycle them properly in an electronics recycling centre to ensure that we make the most of the valuable materials in them.