Right to Repair
"We are people, we are repairers, we are sustainability activists, we are a community."
We believe that products should last longer and therefore they should be able to be repaired in the event of a defect. This requires products to be designed for repair and support for all types of repairers.
"We ask for the right to repair."
The world is breaking down because companies are keeping consumers blind to the truth! DON'T ACCEPT THIS ANY LONGER! Make repair the NORM!
We'll FIX Things!
"E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Only 15-20% is recycled."
Every year, 53 million tons of e-waste is produced with an equivalent weight of 350 cruise ships to electronics.
Community repair prevents waste, saves CO2 and restores hearts!
What we want
Stand up for your right to repair! What do we expect from policymakers?
Products should be designed not only to perform, but also to last and be repaired when needed. To make products that are easy to repair, we need design practices that support disassembly convenience.
Our short-term goal: EU law sets minimum design requirements to ensure easy disassembly and replacement of key components , starting with smartphones, laptops and other IT products.
Fair Repair should be accessible, affordable and mainstream. This means that repairing a product should not cost more than buying a new product. Legal barriers should not prevent individuals, independent repairers and community repair groups from repairing broken products. We want a universal right to repair: everyone has access to spare parts and repair manuals for the entire life of a product.
Our short-term goal: the legal framework for access to spare parts and repair information for repairers should be laid down in national registers that are fair and inclusive and independent of manufacturers.
Citizens want to know if their products are built to be repaired or intended to be disposable when breaking. Information on the repairability of products should be made available to both citizens and repairers at the time of purchase.
Our short-term goal: the EU introduces a repairability scoring system as part of the existing energy label for all energy-consuming products.
Why do we want the right to repair?
The problem is simple. The products we use on a daily basis are becoming increasingly difficult to repair. E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, with phone and laptop manufacturers making their products harder to repair. And it's not just digital devices – the amount of household appliances that fail within 5 years of purchase is also skyrocketing.
We've had enough. This cannot continue on any metric – emissions, social impact, waste. So we're going to do something about it. We want the right to fix.
What is the right to repair?
Although we are a fairly young campaign in Europe, the right to repair has long been a concern for many thousands of independent repairers, community repair groups and citizens around the world.
In 2019, the EU adopted new regulations introducing for the first time recoverability criteria for a first set of new devices sold in Europe from March 2021. Last year, the European Commission committed itself to the 'Right to Repair' and is slowly working on regulations for electronic devices and other products.
This is a good start, but we need a lot more. Europe is a great place to argue for a universal right to repair and ambitious policies to achieve this, including all products and open to all, not just professional repairers.
In 2020 we had a good year for right to repair!
In March, we received the big news that in its Circular Economy Action Plan (one of the foundations of the Green Deal), the European Commission promised a 'new right to repair', in which it committed itself to making sustainable products the norm and focusing on electronics and ICT devices, starting with smartphones.
Since then, we have participated in many consultations and spoken to EU policymakers to ensure that future repair policies are as ambitious as claimed and not watered down by industry. For example, we had to publicly call on the industry when they asked the EU to postpone the already agreed regulations with Covid as a reason.
More recently, we have received the support of the European Parliament! MePs voted on a report on sustainable products, which included elements on the premature ageing of devices and the mandatory labelling of products on repairability. After weeks of opposition, where conservative and liberal parties tried to water down the original, more ambitious version of the report, the final vote was a clear signal from Parliament that MEPs support Right to Repair and that they are ready to support consumers and the environment in the fight against ageing!
And it doesn't just happen in Brussels! Measures are being developed and adopted throughout Europe to make repair the norm!
"While this is all great news, it's only a first step towards ambitious regulation. We are gearing up for a strong pushback in the industry next year when the debates get technical and we raise the issue of affordable spare parts and software aging."
The year of repair became more important than ever
But 2020 was also the year that forced many of us to isolate our electrical and electronic devices and rely on them to work from home, connect with our loved ones or seek information and entertainment. During the pandemic, it is even more important to have your device or device repaired, at a time when buying a new device may not even be possible, or we just can't afford it.
When we raised the point that "repair is essential" – especially during a pandemic – we received many messages, both from repair shops that could not stay open because they were not considered "essential" and from individuals who tried to repair their devices but did not have access to skilled technicians or spare parts.
This confirmed, if necessary, the important role of repair in building resilient communities, which cannot always rely on global, traditional supply chains.
As we look ahead to what kind of world we want after Covid-19, we need to make sure that the independent repair and reuse sectors are not forgotten. It is not only repair and reuse that are essential to achieve our climate and sustainability ambitions, both at national and EU level; they also offer opportunities for jobs and training that are likely to be badly needed in the coming months and years.
The year Heroes of Repair took the front stage
Since the launch of the campaign in September 2019, we have grown from a few members to 40 organizations in 15 European countries that are part of this coalition fighting for a universal right to repair in Europe. Many of them are networks themselves that collect hundreds of community repair initiatives, professional repairers and repair enthusiasts!
So when it was time to celebrate International Repair Day in October, we wanted to put people across Europe in the spotlight who make an important contribution to repair in their communities. From community volunteers to skilled technicians and activists, we were incredibly proud to introduce you to our Heroes of Repair!
For us, it is absolutely essential to strengthen the work of these individuals. Especially if they are sued by $1 trillion company Apple, such as Norwegian repairman Henrik Huseby. In right to repair's main setback of 2020, norway's Supreme Court ultimately ruled in Apple's favor – showing that the letter of the law is completely inappropriate for the moment we live and needs to be changed with ambitious legislation!
More news about Right to Repair
Exclusive Creator interview: Keep your older Mac up to date with Big Sur thanks to Patched Sur from Ben Sova!
Are you a consumer?
Visit the website of Right to Repair!
Here you will find the latest developments about right to repair and you can learn more about the movement.
The Right to Repair campaign network consists of organisations based in various European countries representing civil society organisations, repair companies, community recovery initiatives and public institutions.
They participate in shaping the campaign and form a European community of people who want more sustainable and better repaired products.
If you are interested in being part of the network, sign up using this Link.
Would you rather have some more information first?
Please contact us.
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