We’re trying to join in the fight against unnecessary waste and product obsolescence due to small and singular component failures.
We’re not standing shoulder to shoulder to the titans of repair, like ifixit, but we’re doing our part to help grow a business that’s focused on educating and helping consumers to repair their stuff; whether that’s with FixIts or not.
There used to be a time when repair was the norm, but since the invention of plastics in the 1950s we’ve been driven by convenience and cheap replaceable products. Products that were never designed to be responsibly recycled or disposed of.
These days convenience is the number 1 driver, our simple monkey brains want that dopamine hit more than being even slightly inconvenienced. We’re had adverts thrown at us from all directions for our whole lives, teaching us to buy this or that new thing; to upgrade and replace anything and everything.
You’d think that we’d have wised up to it by now, but the might of big industry is very good at making us spend our hard earned money on things we don’t need.
So why is it that we don’t repair things as the norm?
Arguably we live in an age where it should be easier than ever to learn how to repair anything that breaks in our homes. The gap between the expert and the novice is smaller than it’s ever been in human history; how?
The internet has created huge asymmetries between those who know and those who don’t. Almost any question is a couple google searches away from an answer, not to mention the sheer amount of tutorial videos on platforms like youtube. The collective knowledge of humanity is at our fingertips and yet we still opt to throw away and buy new just because of a single component failure.
For us, we want to build an approach within society that means you automatically look to repair rather than replace. What’s the worst that can happen by having a go at repairing something instead of binning it straight away?
The eco movement has come in waves since the 1960s, but this time it’s different because if we don’t do something about it now, our survival as a species on this planet is no longer a guarantee.
We scienced ourselves into this mess, can we science ourselves out of it?
This challenge of reversing the last 100 years of reckless production and pollution is going to define entire generations and will be the biggest unified focus that humanity has ever taken part in. Our ecosystems will not survive if we do not tackle the vast negative impact our stuff has had on our planet.
As mentioned we’ve been conditioned to see new as the best and old as the worst. Companies have done a fantastic job as creating desire for objects that are only a little bit better than their predecessor (but our perception of that improvement is far grander than the reality).
We have to learn how to thrive in a world of excess, second, third, fourth hand stuff. We are sitting on literal treasure troves of value, but only if we put a little time and energy into that stuff.
No matter how well we do as a society there will always be some things that we can’t repair. At which point we have to consider 1, where do we source a replacement part (often near impossible or so expensive that it makes more sense to buy a whole new product) and 2, what we do with the component or raw material that is now obsolete (not always easy if your local waste municity only offer limited waste options).
There is one industry which is arguably the worst when it comes to non repairable components, and that’s the tech industry. These conglomerates are working hard to take your rights away from your stuff, making it harder to repair and forcing you to buy new. The Right to Repair movement aims to bring the power back to the consumer and force companies to stop making it difficult to repair and extend the life of our products at a reasonable price, but planned obsolescence has already been ingrained as normal to us.
So we want you to, at the very least, consider repair before you consider recycling.