We are celebrating, as we’ve reached over 10,000 devices recorded through our database, affectionately known as the Fixometer. We are collecting this data together with our network, which consists of over 70 groups in 12 countries. We have been recording data since 2014, to track and understand the impact of community repair in our network.
We collect data on every repair that we attempt at our community repair events. We then use that data to present insights into the devices and problems we see to those who design, manufacture and regulate products in the first place.
Our repair success so far
Out of 10,035 devices:
- 5,279 have been fixed
- 2,803 were repairable
- 1,909 were end-of-life*
*Our research suggests that Restart Party goers tend to recycle their non-working electrical products.
This brings us to a repair rate of 52.6% – we are repairing just over half of the devices that come to our events. And we are also tracking the barriers to repair the other half, whether it’s lack of spare parts, poor documentation, or simply bad design.
The last device recorded on the Fixometer was a 10-year-old portable radio, like the one on our featured image, which was brought to the Reading Repair Cafe – and it got fixed!
If you are interested to know more, you can read about how and why we record these figures, while learning more about our journey through collecting repair data.
Measuring environmental impact
We rarely consider all of the energy, emissions, minerals and water that are wrapped up in the physical objects in our hands and in our houses. Before a smartphone reaches us, most of the greenhouse gas emissions it will ever make have already been made.
Every time we extend a gadget’s lifetime through repair, we space out and slow the impacts of manufacture. The fewer new items we buy, the more we limit greenhouse gas emissions, save water and avoid using minerals that are hard to mine and harder to recycle.
Through our Fixometer, we track the environmental impact of our repairs. You can read more here about how these figures are calculated.
Keen to get hands on?
I don’t fix but I can help
If you are interested in playing around with data, we’d love to see you at our upcoming Data Dive this Saturday 2nd March, which you can join either in person in London or online. You can find more information and register through the link. This will be a chance to explore our Fixometer data together, where you can help us analyse barriers to our right to repair.
I fix, and this data can help me
We recently launched a new feature for volunteers on our community Restarters.net: The Repair Data Navigator. The Repair Data Navigator allows searching and filtering of all previous repair attempts recorded.
You can filter by device details (product category, brand, model), repair details (repair status, problem/solution), and event details (group, event dates):
If you’d like to search through the Repair Data Navigator, join us at Restarters.net.
Thanks to Wrap, The Engine Room and Circular Ecology for believing in this idea from the very beginning. Massive kudos to Neil, our Tech and Data Lead for his leadership and commitment in recent years. Wouldn’t have been possible without Shuttleworth Foundation’s steadfast support. And thanks to recent support from Nesta and DCMS.
[Featured image by Flickr user Seb Lee-Delisle]
It isn’t perfectly clear whether your database is recording the repairability of different types of device (10,000 of which would be a really wonderful number) or just individual devices, which could include lots of the same make and model. I suspect it’s the latter, from what you say about having had 10,035 devices brought to your events.
That doesn’t tell us much about the range of repairable devices, or repairers’ accrued knowledge of each of the different kinds of device. Do you have a means of extracting that invaluable information, or could you attempt to do this at least from now on?
Hi Diana, the data we collect is from repair attempts at Restart Parties, so it does indeed include multiple units of the same product brought to different events. We are concentrating on product categories (such as laptops, mobile phones, toasters), rather than individual products, highlighting barriers to repairability (such as lack of spare parts, repair manuals, design preventing repair). We plan to do more analysis of the data we have, to help make the case for regulation change to make future products more repairable.