On Saturday 17th October we’ll celebrate the fourth edition of International Repair Day. This year’s theme is “repair is essential” – especially during a global pandemic. So we want to celebrate the skills and work of all people who repair, whether they do so in their spare time as volunteers, or as their main activity as professional repairers.
Our event for International Repair Day
Normally on Repair Day we run a large Restart Party, to celebrate the day together with as many of our volunteers as possible.
This year unfortunately we can’t, for obvious reasons. We have decided to mark the day with a hybrid online/in person event. On 17 October from 1pm we invite Londoners to help us celebrate the independent repair businesses who help us all stay connected, especially during lockdown. We are currently inviting members of the public to suggest reliable local repair businesses to be featured in our Repair Directory. During the event, we’ll show the Directory works and then search for businesses together with participants.
We’ll do this online, but also in person. There will be opportunities for small groups to (safely!) get together for local walks to map their neighbourhood.
London’s first-ever Repair Week
We’re especially happy to announce that Repair Day this year is the culmination of London’s first-ever Repair Week. Repair Week is organised by the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), and it brings together almost 50 organisations, including charities, local authorities and businesses, to celebrate the importance of repair. From October 12-17, London Repair Week will feature a mix of online discussions, repair activities for electronics and other products, and promotions from commercial repairers. The full programme will be published on the Repair week’s website. As part of the initiative, we will take part in a webinar on Friday October 16th on “Circular IT and electricals: tackling the climate emergency through sustainable procurement”.
The role of cities in repair
At Restart, we strongly believe in the role that cities can play in pushing the repair agenda. We are proud to have inspired London with our previous editions of Repair Day. And we congratulate them for their plans to convene a week-long series of discussions and activities.
Last year we wrote an extensive report for LWARB to review its roadmap for the circular economy of electricals. One of our key recommendations was that London should invest in:
Celebrating and supporting the work of London’s huge range of community organisations, vibrant charity retail and re-use organisations, as well as commercial repairers and startups working on electricals.
Repair Week is a first important step in this direction. We hope it will be followed by more opportunities for collaboration between public, private and third sector. In other cities across Europe, repair networks are bringing together repair professionals, and funding is made available to directly incentivise repair over replacing products. The example of Austria’s capital Vienna is very inspiring.
But for now, let’s make the most of Repair Week and of International Repair Day!