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Fixing Our Throwaway Economy

Thirteen people wearing high visibility vests gather around a sign for The Fixing Factory's repair cafe in Brent. "Roll up your sleeves and learn how to fix things."

E-waste, repair cafes and skills for the future.

Hello! How is repairing and reuse possible when the throwaway culture is so deeply rooted in our economy? How does a repair cafe help tackle e-waste?

The Fixing Factory is a new project with a fresh approach that not only makes repair and reuse a reality, it’s also applying lateral thinking so electronic ‘e-waste’ can benefit local communities in as many ways as is possible. 

In this episode of Copy This, Fiona Dear of The Restart Project and Emma Beal of West London Waste Authority describe The Fixing Factory’s drive to not only give electronic waste a new lease of life, but to use it to level the digital playing field, train the fixers of the future, provide employment opportunities and create a project blueprint for a repair café that could be replicated around the UK.  

“Because our current manufacturing system is linear not circular, products are made, used and thrown away rather than made, used and re-used. Waste just keeps being produced no matter what we, the consumer, does. Most people want to do the right thing and be environmentally friendly, but usually don’t know how to recycle their phone or laptop, or are worried about data security. The Fixing Factory fills that gap and gives this ‘waste’ a new lease of life, creating opportunities people wouldn’t otherwise have. It can be used for training and learning, it can be used for people to fix their own goods. There are so many different ways in which electronic waste can benefit a local community.”  Fiona Dear of The Restart Project

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