Did you know, that for the majority of products, the largest portion of the carbon and ecological footprint is created during the manufacturing process, rather than during it’s actual use? This is true for anything from cars and mobiles, to shoes and t-shirts.
Now, I know that we live in a world where shopping is easy and things can be replaced by the click of a button (in exchange for a chunk of your bank account). However, if we were all to do our utmost to prolong the lifespan of our possessions and to shun organisations which incorporate planned obsolescence (designing a product so that it breaks after a certain period of time so that you have to buy a new one), then we’d not only be able to significantly reduce our carbon, energy and material footprints; but we’d also decrease the amount of stuff which unnecessarily ends up in landfill, and spend a lot less money on replacing our broken objects.
So my ask to you this week in the 2017 Sustainable Revolution, is to fix something which you were otherwise going to replace. Or, if you don’t know how: ask Jim* to do it. See below for our top tips on how to do some RIY (repair it yourself) or where to go otherwise.
*and by Jim, I mean an expert.
If you’ve got a tear in your sleeve or a button has mysteriously disappeared, maybe have a go at repairing it yourself. Find a how-to guide for nearly everything here.
Something a bit more technical like a hole in your jeans? Get them patched up by these guys.
Worn out the soles on your shoes? Head to your closest cobbler. Timpsons are a reliable bet (and are also great for watch repairs). If you don’t have one locally, Shipton & Heneage do a mail-order repair service, and can even replace the soles on your deck shoes or wellington boots.
Isn’t it annoying when the clasp breaks on your necklace, or you lose the back off your earring? Rather than never wearing it again, it might be worth getting it fixed. If you spent some $$ on it, or it was a nice gift, perhaps pay some professionals to do it for you. If it’s something you picked up from Accessorize (other budget jewellery shops are available) why not have a go at doing it yourself.
Whether you’ve smashed the screen on your phone, got a loose connection in your headphones or spilled some ribena on your laptop, most things which go wrong with electronics ARE REPAIRABLE.
Want to have a go at fixing it yourself? Find the manual on iFixIt or head to a workshop run by The Restart Project, where you can learn from the best at how to replace phone screens and fix circuitboards. Want an expert to do it? Send it to these guys.
Got a puncture? Don’t buy a new inner tube, just learn how to patch it up. If there’s something more serious going on, like slipping gears or dodgy brakes, consider taking an Introduction to Maintenance course, rather than taking it to the bike shop. And if you don’t have the right tools? Head to London Bike Kitchen.
Will hopefully repair with time. Sorry I can’t offer you a quick fix for that one.
SO. Whether you need a sock darned, a sleeve patched, a screen replaced or an engine repaired, there’s options for almost everything. And if you’ve caught the bug of making and mending, check out the London Craft Week website to find out about the plethora of workshops you can sign up to. From carpentry to haberdashery to book binding… they’ve got it all.
Don’t replace it – repair it!