International Repair Day
In an increasingly wasteful society, it’s important to know how to repair things instead of replacing them. Start small, and see what broken bits you can salvage.
The essence of International Repair Day is simple, even though the premise might seem broad. We can all do a little more to take better care of what we own. International Repair Day is all about showing that, fixing what’s broke and making it as visible as possible.
Designed to combat the sheer wastefulness of modern society, International Repair Day is about the value of fixing things. With community repair events taking place across the globe and over social media to highlight the benefits of showing our belongings a little more love and care.
History of International Repair Day
International Repair Day is a relatively recent initiative, with the first event taking place in 2017. It was dreamed up in collaboration with the Open Repair Alliance, an international community of businesses and organisations that have banded together to work towards a world where electronic products are sustainable and easier to repair.
Initially, Repair Cafes were set up by other like-minded electricians, handy people, and DIYers, such as the Repair Café Foundation. The Foundation helped local environmental and waste reduction-minded people set up cafes that would make the tools and volunteers available to help fix all kinds of goods.
As Repair Cafes grew more popular, so too did the notion of making the effort to create a more sustainable and repair-minded approach towards electronics in the wider community. That’s when the first International Repair Day was announced.
Since then, International Repair Days have gone on to include people starting up Repair Cafes and Restart Parties. International Repair Days have also been used to bring attention to movements like the Right to Repair, intended to encourage manufacturers and lawmakers to have more electronic products come with the information and resources needed to fix them.
International Repair Day has also taken off across social media, where people joining in are encouraged to share their own repair stories and show electronics that they’re proud to have fixed up.
How to celebrate International Repair Day
Despite the fact that it’s relatively new, there are plenty of ways to celebrate International Repair Day and engage with a community aiming to make products last longer in an increasingly wasteful society.
The first way is to look for local events near you. Repair Cafes and Restart Parties offer the tools you need to tackle your electronics, as well as volunteers to lend a little know-how if you get stuck.
Others take the opportunity simply to take something off that ever-growing to-do list of household repair tasks. There’s always something around the house that needs fixing, after all, and you can celebrate your efforts by sharing your pictures and story on social media.
If you’re already particularly fond of fixing up your old electronics and parts of the home, then you could instead teach others how to do it. Teaching your children how to use common tools and practice repair safety can teach them a very useful lifetime habit. Or you can volunteer at International Repair Day events to help others who could use help in fixing their own things.