Restart Radio: Saving whitegoods from waste
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This week, Ugo is joined by Lawrence Carey, one of the founders of the Whitegoods Trade Association. Lawrence sheds some light on the complex relationships that exist between consumers, manufacturers and third party repair businesses when it comes to the machines we rely on at home: dryers, dishwashers, washing machines.
As we explored in our 2-part podcast on Steve the Spindoctor (here and here), independent repair businesses face some serious challenges. The Whitegoods Trade Association aims to give a voice to engineers who have become disillusioned with the industry. They have come up with their own code of practise – one that offers protection for consumers and repairers.
Whitegoods sales are going up, but it seems quality is going down. For many, the most convenient solution to a faulty machine is to throw it away. Manufacturers tend to keep their technical information ‘in house’, which makes the job of Lawrence, Steve and others exceptionally difficult. Access to spare parts is limited, and sometimes even non-existent.
Drawing on examples from Sweden and France, Ugo and Lawrence discuss ways in which more available data, parts and a system that favours the repair economy could lead to greater sustainability in the White Goods Sector.
Links to things we discussed:
- White Goods Trade Association
- WTA Code of Practise
- The Guardian: Samsung out of spare parts
- World Economic Forum: Sweden’s tax breaks on repairs