“We want better repairable items”

“We want better repairable items”

Items should be more durable and repairable, says a growing number of Repair Café volunteers. This according to research by the Centre for Sustainable Design, part of the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, England.

Researchers from the Centre asked volunteers from 317 Repair Cafés in ten countries why they participate in the Repair Café. Respondents were allowed to give more than one answer. 92 percent gave as a reason that they believe things should be better repairable. Two years ago, the Centre did a similar study. At that time 85 percent of respondents mentioned reparability of items as an important reason to be involved in the Repair Café.

“I also want to encourage others to make repairs” was another important reason volunteers gave to get involved in the Repair Café. So was: “With the Repair Cafe I’m doing something worthwhile for the community.”

Smartphones, laptops and tablets
Researchers also asked what kind of items were brought to the Repair Café. According to the volunteers there is a slowly growing number of visitors coming in with smartphones, laptops and tablets. In 2014, 15 percent of respondents said smartphones were brought to their Repair Café often to almost always. In 2016, this percentage has risen to 19 percent. With regard to tablets and laptops, there is an increase of about 10 percent.

Curious about the rest of the research? View the research results in The Second Global Survey of Repair Cafés.

Final RC Infographic Amends

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4 Comments

  • Chris Moller
    01.08.2016

    I recently wrote a Repairability Specification for hi-tech items. Although it was written for Lighting Global, to help stop Africa filling up with broken solar lanterns, it actually applies to any hi-tech electronics. If anyone is interested, please send me an email at cottenham@repaircafe.org.uk, and I’ll send you a copy.

    One important issue it highlights is that increasingly, computer equipment is thrown away not because it’s broken, but because it is no longer compatible with something else. This is something Repair Cafés can’t fix, and we need to pressure manufacturers on backwards compatibility – something they used to do, but for some reason they no longer consider important.

  • Christine
    19.05.2016

    Thank you so much for this survey (I took part in it). We’ve been running our Repair Café for about 1,5 years now (Konstanz, Germany) and it always makes me happy to see how many items have been fixed, mended or altered and that way brought back to life at the end of the day. It’s really worth the effort!

  • josef pfeiffer
    17.05.2016

    We plan to make a Repair Café in my town Grieskirchen in upper Austria, so its interesting for me what happens in that case in the rest of our world. I have developed a lot of redesign and remanufacturing studies and was honored for this with the European redesign award in 2013. Since this time I work hard for the ideas that includes also the workmanship of repairing things, that nobody would use anymore. Thanks and good luck, Sepp

  • Rude Record
    17.05.2016

    RUDE [reuser (and repairer) of unloved discarded excess] Boy attended Melbourne Repair Cafe as a fixer because he wants to share his knowledge of repair with others.

    RUDE [reuser (and repairer) of unloved discarded excess] Girl attended Melbourne Repair Cafe as a fixer because she likes helping people to mend, and keep their garments out of landfill.

    Together RUDE likes to play the game of Beat The Man by reducing our consumption.
    RUDE @ Repair Café Melbourne.

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