The Big Picture and Beyond the Bay

Resources and Worldwide Initiatives

 

OUTSTANDING organizations EVERYONE SHOULD know ABOUT

 

We urge anyone interested in repair to visit the following sites.  They not only describe their important initiatives, but also address the larger picture of why repair matters — to the environment, to the local economy, and to individuals' well-being:

The Restart Project — UK — An extraordinary, multifaceted program with an electronics focus — "Together we will fix our relationship with electronics and make our devices last longer. We will take back control of the stuff we own, and enjoy innovation at our own pace." — therestartproject.org

The Centre for Sustainable Design — UK — "The Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD) has built world class knowledge and expertise of sustainable innovation and product sustainability. The Centre researches, develops and disseminates understanding of present and future sustainability impacts and solutions related to innovation, products, technologies, services and systems through projects, training, events, networks and information."  See in particular: "Makers & Fixers Circular Economy & Grassroots Innovation: Ten Lessons Learnt", concise summary findings of 3rd June 2014 symposium, and "Makers and Fixers Circular Economy and Grassroots Innovation", 6:41 high-level video of the issues, research and global initiatives.

Repair Association — "Right to Repair" — "Consumers, product owners, and independent professionals must have the right to repair, resell and reuse their products. The Repair Association advocates nationally for a competitive repair market, as well as improvements to the quality and longevity of products." — repair.org

iFixit.org and iFixit.com — Tools, supplies and replacement parts for sale; free repair manuals, repair advocacy. "iFixit is the free repair manual that you can edit. We are a community of people helping each other fix stuff. Come hang out with us — you'll find a friendly, helpful bunch of people who care about things and want to make them last longer...We are building a free repair manual for every device." "We have the right to repair everything we own. It's high time we demand the right to open, tinker with, and repair everything we own. We have the right to fix our own things or choose which service shop to use; to manuals and diagnostic tools the dealers use; and to unlock and jailbreak the software on our devices." — ifixit.org and iFixit.com.

Patagonia — "One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it. Worn Wear celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer through repair and reuse, and recycles your garments when they're beyond repair." https://www.patagonia.com/blog/2015/11/repair-is-a-radical-act/


National and International Research, Resources and Initiatives materially informING The Culture of Repair Project:

 

Ellen MacArthur Foundation — "...works with business, government and academia to build a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design." — "The Circular Design Guide" — www.circulardesignguide.com — works with Tim Brown of IDEO.  (See a high level sketch of the concepts and repair's place in the circular economy on The Culture of Repair.) — www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org

Anya DobrowolskiCommunity Repair Events: Common, Best, and Better Practices for Building Community Through Repair, April 2017. Prepared by Anya Dobrowolski, Project Management, Graphic Design and Sustainability Research Consultant for City of Eugene, Waste and Prevention and Green Building Service Department.  This is an excellent, accessible and actionable paper on the global community repair event phenomenon.  In it Dobrowolski summarizes and assesses varying philosophies and practices; reports available outcome metrics; and offers recommendations for improvement.  Highly recommended for anyone considering establishing community repair events.  Community Repair Events

Repair Cafe — Amsterdam, world headquarters — "Repair Cafes are free meeting places and they're all about repairing things together. ... Bring your broken items from home. You'll find tools and materials and expert volunteers. You make repairs together .... It's an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else's repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table, leafing through books on repairs and DIY. There are over a thousand Repair Cafes worldwide..." — repaircafe.org

* Peter Skinner, Palo Alto Repair Cafe, earliest established in the USA— www.repaircafe-paloalto.org

* John Waxman, 8 networked Repair Cafes in the Hudson River Valley — https://www.facebook.com/RepairCafeHudsonValley

 

Fixit Clinic — Peter Mui — “Education, entertainment, empowerment, elucidation, and, ultimately, enlightenment through guided disassembly of your broken stuff.” — fixitclinic.blogspot.com

 

Fixers' Collective — Brooklyn — "The Fixers Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing and aggressive asset recovery. Bring in any item that isn't working, is broken, needs mending or repair and together we will attempt to restore it so that it functions again." — http://www.fixerscollective.org/

 

Center for Business and the Environment at YaleStuart DeCrew "We catalyze research and cultivate partnerships that advance business solutions to global environmental problems." — a joint degree program between Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies —

 

Forum for Religion and the Environment at Yale — Mary Evelyn Tucker — "With its conferences, publications, and website, it is engaged in exploring religious worldviews, texts, and ethics in order to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns. The Forum recognizes that religions need to be in dialogue with other disciplines (e.g., science, economics, policy, gender studies) in seeking comprehensive solutions to both global and local environmental problems." — fore.research.yale.edu

 

Yale School of Management — Todd Cort— sustainability in business, metrics, drivers and constraints — http://som.yale.edu/todd-cort

 

Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies — Reid Lifset and Tamar Makov — industrial ecology — https://environment.yale.edu/profile/lifset/

 

Yale Divinity School / Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies — joint degree in religion and ecology — YDS/FES

 

FIXUP — NYC — Sandra Goldmark — "...an itinerant repair service for household items of all kinds: Care for what you have... we believe that the practices of working by hand and of stewardship have great value as our society searches for a sustainable model of consumption. ... operating small repair shops in New York neighborhoods ... with partner businesses and organizations. .... We have learned that people are hungry for repair services, eager to re-think the way we buy and spend, and willing to spend their money to take care of the things we have. We help make it easier." Re-invigorating repair in our economy will help us rethink the way we design, manufacture, shop, use and discard. Repair creates a connection between what we own and what we value." — https://www.fixuprepair.com/

 

CRRA — California Resource Recovery Association —"...California's statewide recycling association. .. dedicated to achieving environmental sustainability in and beyond CA through Zero Waste strategies including product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting. ... members represent all aspects of CA's reduce-reuse-recycle-compost economy." — http://www.crra.com, Prevention, Reuse & Repair Technical Council: http://www.crra.com/technical-councils


CURRENTLY WORKING THROUGH THE RESEARCH QUEUE

 

WRAP - WRAP's vision is a world in which resources are used sustainably. WRAP works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, resource-efficient economy by: re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products, re-thinking how we use and consume products, and re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling. - http://wrap.org.uk/-

 

Discard Studies - "Critical Discard Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary sub-field that takes waste and wasting, broadly defined, as its topic of study. We use the “discard studies” instead of “waste studies” to ensure that the categories of what is systematically left out, devalued, left behind, and externalized are left open." - https://discardstudies.com/

 

Academic Research of:

* Daniela K. Rosner — University of Washington, Human-Centered Design and Engineering — danielarosner.com

* Steven J. Jackson — Cornell University, Department of Information Science — sjackson.infosci.cornell.edu

* Lara Houston — Goldsmiths, University of London, Sociology Department — larahouston.co.uk

For example, see "Values in Repair", a paper by Lara Houston, Steven Jackson, Daniela K. Rosner, Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, Meg Young, and Laewoo Kang, ACM New York, NY 2016:

"...acts of repair may extend but also enliven the landscape of things, building forms of meaning and attachment that help thicken human relationships to technology.  Generic manufactured objects may be deepened or ennobled through repair, adding affective and social valences.  Within an industrial and consumption-centered economy, new forms of durability can be achieved, and things meant to be discarded can be turned into things to be cared for and saved.  At the same time, repair can change its human participants, transforming 'mere users' into something slightly more, better versed and engaged with the object worlds around them... Our arguments draw on the recognition that breakdown is everyday rather than exceptional, and that the recuperative processes of repair are central to the maintenance of social and material orders across time." (pp. 2, 3)


 

Additional Research Resources and Initiatives
that have informed the project:

 

 

Community Glue Workshop — Chicago — "The Edgewater-based organization’s goals are to divert repairable items from the waste stream (or repurpose them if need be), encourage critical thinking, debunk the relentless myth that newer is better, and foster community." — http://communityglueworkshop.org/

 

Portland Repair Finder — Portland — Mapping local repair shops: "Portland Repair Finder is dedicated to helping more people fix more things. We make tools, knowledge, and resources easier to find, and help tell the stories behind repair work. We believe that repairing things is good for the local economy, community and environment, and it is empowering and fun!" — http://www.portlandrepairfinder.com/

 

Repair PDX — Portland Repair Cafe — "Repair PDX formed in March 2013 to bring repair events to Portland residents. Inspired by the Netherlands Repair Cafes, our group of dedicated volunteers ..." — repairpdx.org

 

Reuse Alliance — San Francisco — " We educate the public about the social, environmental and economic benefits of reuse by providing capacity-building services that strengthen the reuse community." — reusealliance.org

 

Reuse International (formerly Reuse Institute)  "a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of reuse through educational events, training services and research projects.  Mary Ellen Etienne — http://www.reuseinstitute.org/

 

ReUse Network — Southern CA — "...promoting and empowering deconstruction practices and the reuse of quality building materials and surplus property." — www.reusenetwork.org and www.decon-network.org

 

PLAN — Post Landfill Action Network — college campuses nationwide— "...cultivates, educates, and inspires the student-led zero waste movement." — www.postlandfill.org

 

ResCoM — project of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation — "...takes a systems approach ... to help manufacturers rethink the relationships between design, business model, supply chain and technology. Shifting away from optimizing isolated parts of a system provides companies an opportunity to make greater returns by addressing the whole system in which their products are made." — www.rescoms.eu

 

The Freecycle Network — "... made up of 5,301 groups with 9,091,717 members around the world, and next door to you. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighborhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers...." www.freecycle.org

 

CA Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) — "Design It Green -> Take It Back" —"...a powerful network of governments, non-government organizations, businesses, and individuals advocating for policies and projects where producers share in the responsibility for funding and managing problem products at the end of life." "Extended Producer Responsibility"— calpsc.org

 

National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) — "Advocating for a Circular Economy" — (established by CPSC) — "...a powerful network of governments, non-government organizations, businesses, and individuals advocating for policies and projects where producers share in the responsibility for funding and managing problem products at the end of life." "Extended Producer Responsibility" nsaction.us

 

The Story of Stuff — Annie Leonard — "We have a problem with Stuff. We use too much, too much of it is toxic and we don’t share it very well. But that’s not the way things have to be. Together, we can build a society based on better not more, sharing not selfishness, community not division. The Story of Stuff Project’s journey began with a 20-minute online movie about the way we make, use and throw away all the Stuff in our lives. Five years and 40 million views later, we’re a Community of more than a million change-makers worldwide, working to build a more healthy and just planet. We invite you to watch and share our movies, participate in our study programs and join our campaigns." — storyofstuff.org

 

"The Work That Reconnects" — Joanna Macy — ""The Work That Reconnects Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning, in diverse communities, schools, universities, businesses, government agencies, and NGOs. The Work That Reconnects Network functions as a vibrant living system, providing communication, education, mutual support, and collaboration in creating curricula, practices, books and articles, music, poetry, and art." — workthatreconnects.org

 

Fair Phone — "The modular phone that’s built to last. We’ve created the world’s first ethical, modular smartphone... We design products that last - in both their original design and in designing their repair to be as easy as possible. That’s why we made the world’s first modular phone built for repairability in mind.... We sell spare parts and offer repair tutorials to help make your phone useful for as long as possible. Our take-back program ..." — www.fairphone.com

 

RREUSE — EU, headquartered in Brussels — "RREUSE represents social enterprises active in reuse, repair and recycling. We want the EU and national governments to move from promoting just recycling and waste management to putting secondhand first." — www.rreuse.org

 

RSA — UK — Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers, and Commerce — "Our mission is to create a neutral space where all disciplines can learn, collaborate and act in pursuit of a more circular economy." — www.thersa.org

 

Zero Waste Europe — "...creating a movement aiming at eliminating waste in our society. We empower communities and change agents from around Europe to redesign their relationship with resources, to adapt their lifestyle, their consumption patterns, and to think circular. ... We are both a knowledge network and an advocacy group, representing active communities in countries across the EU." — www.zerowasteeurope.eu

 

Precycling — "....the practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid bringing items which will generate waste into home or business... cuts waste at its source ... characterized as a decision-making process on behalf of the consumer because it involves making informed judgments regarding a product's waste implications. ... whether a product is reusable, durable, or repairable; made from renewable or non-renewable resources; over-packaged; and whether or not the container is reusable." — from wikipedia entry

 


COMPANIES THAT INSPIRE US

 

Patagonia — "One of the most responsible things we can do as a company is to make high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it. Worn Wear celebrates the stories we wear, keeps your gear in action longer through repair and reuse, and recycles your garments when they're beyond repair." https://www.patagonia.com/blog/2015/11/repair-is-a-radical-act/

 

Davek — umbrella manufacturer —"We think it's better to buy one high-quality product that will last for many years, than an endless stream of replacements." https://davekny.com/

 

Nudie Jeans — international manufacturer of denim-wear based in Sweden — "It’s all about looking after things, breaking your jeans in, creating your own look and mending them in your own way. It is deeply rooted part of Nudie Jeans to encourage the care of things that actually get more beautifaul as they age. Things that bear your own history and are timeless. That’s we continue to pass on the message about preserving what you love and is worth looking after."  https://www.nudiejeans.com/ — Nudie Repair in New York City.

 

Yerdle — San Francisco — "Yerdle helps companies implement turn-key technology and logistics systems to increase the utilization of their products." — (created smartphone app network for exchanging used goods, now distributed to online community) — www.yerdle.com


 

Words and Concepts WORTH Spending SOME Time With

 

Kintsugi — "golden joinery" — "... the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise." (wikipedia) — also: boro, wabi-sabi, shibui, and mottainai

Tikkun Olam — Hebrew, literally, "repair of the world".