In an unprecedented year, this International Repair Day, volunteers and businesses alike came together to celebrate repair. The theme for this year was ‘repair is essential’ and the support that was shown by our community and further afield highlighted just how true this is, especially this year.
Here’s how we celebrated this year
Some groups managed to hold community repair events in person. In Barcelona, Oslo, Milan, and Queensland, Australia fixers came together to celebrate repair and get back to fixing their essential items. Germany, Switzerland and Belgium were the countries with the highest numbers of in-person events.
Repair was everywhere in Leuven, Belgium, including events for kids, “circular” walks, a repair cafe by appointment and workshops for volunteer repairers. Here, the community also came together for a socially-distanced action to raise awareness for the right to repair!
In London, Repair Day this year inspired the very first “Repair Week”. This brought together local authorities, waste authorities, businesses and the charity sector. The Restart Project marked the day celebrating the essential role played by repair businesses. With a mix of online and in-person activities, volunteers researched 47 businesses across South East, South West and Central London to be added to their Repair Directory of reliable repairers of electrical and electronic devices.
Celebrating Repair Day online
Those of us who weren’t able to attend repair events in person shared their thoughts on what they miss…
Across the world, people shared the important message that Repair is Essential, this year in more languages than ever before. We even received a spontaneous addition to the mix, in Indonesian:
Repair enthusiasts also shared at home and DIY repairs on social media and helped spread the message that repair is essential.
Repairers all over the world were also able to virtually join in Fixit Clinic and Lund University’s “intergalactic” event via Zoom. Those who are missing the community aspect of in-person repair events were able to get back a bit of that spirit. Additionally, online repair events from Madrid to Bangalore gave people a chance to get involved, including school children.
Kicking off Heroes of Repair
Right to Repair Europe celebrated the day by launching the Heroes of Repair campaign, which aims to highlight the everyday and often unseen repairers who are constantly working to build a more sustainable and fairer repair economy.
There was also a nice surprise from US repairer – and right to repair advocate – Jessa Jones of iPad Rehab sharing her own repair hero video!
Additional endorsements for Repair Day came from non-profit organisations such as the Electronic Frontiers Foundation and The Story of Stuff in the United States. Politicians celebrated repair too, including MEP Anna Cavazzini, pushing for right to repair at European level, and Italian MP Ilaria Fontana, behind a proposed new national law on repair.
How did businesses celebrate?
From the UK to Mexico to the US to New Zealand, repair businesses took part in Repair Day. Some offered discounts on their products and services, others celebrated their repair technicians and mechanics – with even West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service giving a special shoutout to their team!
Repair-friendly companies such as Fairphone, Sugru and eSpares also marked the day on social media.
Increasing awareness in the media
It seems that Repair Day was the push that many needed to write about the importance of the repair. All across Europe, media outlets and blogs shared articles on how to start repairing, ownership rights, and the right to repair. Mentions included: Wired Italia, Forbes, Huffington Post UK, Western Mail, Factory 2.0, and EconomiaCircolare.com.
Even in the audio sphere, Times Radio talked to Janet Gunter from The Restart Project and Shamil Twaleb of London audio repair business, Armstrong Audio about their work and why repair needs to be supported and celebrated.
In 2021, Repair Day will fall on Saturday 16th October. You can sign up for updates here. We hope that by then we will be able to get together and celebrate more in-person. In the mean time, let’s keep repairing and spreading our message in the new and innovative ways that we’ve seen this year!