01 Repair for the Planet
By repairing, we keep much-loved and useful items working longer, cut waste and save all the materials, energy and cash needed to make and transport new things. Repair has greater climate impacts because it displaces production of new stuff, which reduces many kinds of environmental harm, including greenhouse gas emissions and resource extraction. Learn more about the hidden impacts of products.
02 Repair for People
But it runs much deeper than that. Community repair projects create welcoming spaces to bring people together, share skills and do something positive and practical together – and that feels really good!
Community repair groups make repairing easy and accessible. It is much easier to ‘think repair’ when you can pop to a neighbourhood venue and meet local people with the skills to fix or advise. We create a friendly café atmosphere where all are welcome and we operate on a pay as you feel basis, so there is no economic barrier to getting something fixed or anxiety about how much the repair will cost.
There are obvious practical benefits for people who get something fixed – the item restored to working order, saving the money and hassle of having to buy a new one and you’ll also pick up tips about how to fix and maintain it for yourself. Meanwhile, volunteers feel valued and that they have made a difference. Many enjoy meeting visitors and hearing about the things people bring. Just like the BBC’s Repair Shop – there are often great stories to tell!
03 Joy and Community
It’s surprising just how uplifting and joyful repairing can be for everyone involved. By taking time to mend items for people, community repair projects encourage us all to rethink the value of the things we own, of the people who come and the skills of our volunteers – they are celebrated and welcomed rather than seen as disposable.
For communities, repair projects offer a welcoming space for people of all ages to gather and interact with a common purpose. It’s a place where under-valued practical skills and knowledge take centre stage and are freely shared, increasing everyone’s ability to repair. A little bit of magic happens which can foster new friendships and new ideas to work together and make a difference locally.
Repair projects add to the fabric of our local neighbourhoods, often working with other groups to make a positive and practical difference and strengthen our connections. After the experience of the pandemic and as people become increasingly concerned with the unsustainable way we have been living, there has never been a better time to start repairing in your community. As volunteer-led projects that tap into existing skills, a repair group can be relatively simple to set up and run on few resources. So what are you waiting for?
We’ve put together a briefing document that contains more detail on the benefits of community repair for people and planet. You are welcome to use it or send it to others.
Come along to a repair event!
Ready to take the next step? There are already community repair groups all over the UK, so there’s a good chance there’s one in your area. Check our map of repair groups to find your nearest.