Here at The Restart Project, our primary mission is to fix our relationship with electronics. Through community repair events, we help people learn how to repair their broken electronics. By bringing people together to share skills and gain the confidence to open up their stuff, we give people a hands-on way of making a difference, as well as a way to talk about the wider issue of what kind of products we want.
Eight years ago, we built the first version of the “Fixometer”, a tool designed to help quantify the environmental and social impact of repair events. The repair data and stories it collects is helping us demand better, more sustainable electronics for all.
But while our focus is primarily on electronic and electrical devices, we’re proud to work closely with many local Repair Cafés and other community groups who also help people repair clothes, bicycles, furniture and other non-electrical products.
We’ve been inspired by how community repair groups have been using repair data to further their work in powerful ways. But over the last couple of years, it’s become clear that the focus on electrical and electronic devices has presented barriers to many of these groups and prevented others from using it in the first place.
So, after more than a year of surveys, interviews with group organsiers and repairers, design and development work, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve now added support for non-electrical/electronic items!
How does it work?
The Fixometer is the engine behind our community platform, Restarters.net. If you’re already registered, you’ll notice that we’ve reorganised event pages to better highlight your environmental impact stats and add a new tab for ‘unpowered’ items to the table of items you see at events:
A look at the new event page, showing event stats and items seen
Adding an unpowered item is as easy as clicking a button at the bottom and filling out a handful of fields about the item you’ve tried to fix:
Adding an unpowered item to the Fixometer
The form currently has categories for furniture, bicycles, clothing/textiles and miscellaneous. As with powered items, you are also able to record the weight and age of each item as well as lots of information about the repair itself, successful or not. If you enter a weight measurement for these items, the tool will automatically add that to your event’s environmental impact stats.
However, while for powered devices the tool is able to automatically calculate the CO2 and amount of waste diverted by successful repairs, for unpowered items, only the weight of items is included in event stats (where you input the weight yourself). This is because we don’t yet have a data model or reference data for unpowered items.
If you’re interested in helping us expand our environmental impact calculations for unpowered items, we’re working on this now and need your help! Learn more here.
Over the next couple of months, we’ll also be updating other areas of the site to reflect the fact that many of you will be collecting data for unpowered items.
We are incredibly excited to introduce this update and are grateful to all of you who requested this feature and gave us feedback throughout the process of putting it together.
If you haven’t signed up to our community platform, there’s no better time than now to connect with others passionate about community repair and calculate the impact of your own repair events.