Creating a Repair Society

Policies, networks and people

DIY Repair increases during Coronavirus Pandemic

It seems increased time at home during the Coronavirus pandemic has led to more people fixing at home and spending more time on maintenance. DIY repair stores in Sweden are some of the few businesses actually seeing an increase in customers during the pandemic.

The trend is not just in Sweden, with the US also seeing a boom in repair businesses and increased sale of used/refurbished devices. In part, the boost in refurbished sales is due to disrupted supply chains making new products harder to procure.

Even repair cafes, which have largely had to cancel community events, have switched to online events. Such events have also been the result of collaboration between volunteer repair organisations in Europe and the US, with participants from all over the world, with a typical event attracting over 30 volunteer repairers. A common item needing repair advice at the event? Sewing machines breaking down due to increase use in sewing (often masks) during the pandemic.

So a repair society gets a boost in times of crisis, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a better reason for it? The next question: can the momentum for repair be maintained (or even grow) after the crisis subsides? We are working on that!

April 30, 2020

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