Covid shows Repairability as a solution for easier life

We would like to share with you our stories inspired by the long lockdown period, written and accompanied by sketches made by our team members. Please continue reading.

In the time b.c., in this case, means “before Covid”, we were stuck in our consumption line with almost no focus, time and passion (patient) to repair.

We were mostly too busy to repair something or to take broken products to the service. In a better case, we put it on a list “later”, in the worse case we donate our precious time to the buying process and bring a new piece of something home.

No one was prepared for a pandemic, with lockdown, unsafety….

This brand new situation brought us a change with no discussion, no possibility to protest.

We stayed at home and… we slowed down, rethought our priorities, found some time for ourselves, for all those things on the list “later”. Some of us, tidy – sorted to stay and trash, some discover things to repair and dedicate the time to bring broken things back to life. What could happen? Imagine some of us.

Peter took his power saw into his old and well-equipped work-room next to his house. He disassembled it, found the problem, cleaned the clogged part and successfully maintained the power saw. He knew he could rely on it for a few decades already. He was aware of how important it is to have high-quality appliances and a workroom with all useful tools mostly in this time of worsening situation with pandemics.

Joanna ´s mobile fell from her pocket right on the stairs. The display was broken and stayed black. She really does not want to lose all those phone numbers saved on the phone. As she had no possibility to go to the service, she followed the advice of her friend and bought on a second-hand market web page the same functional mobile. Thanks to her decision to save some money and don´t buy a new mobile till this one still works, she has the one that is possible to open with screws. After a long time spent browsing the internet, she found the right repair video on youtube and changed the broken part by herself for the first time in her life. With some luck and good advice, she saved some money in comparison to the service price. This fits her well as she lost her job in a restaurant last week. She realised that she is able to repair – so proud of herself – this feeling makes her smile on her face in this complicated time.

Tim´s small kitchen mixer he used daily for a smoothie made short crazy noises and stopped. As he had time now, thanks to the home office and no need to travel, he tried to find out what happened, but with no success, because he was not able to disassemble it. The mixer was glued with no possibility to put those plastic components apart without damage. Unhappy, as he and his girlfriend try to live a zero-waste lifestyle but are not able to deny this unnecessary waste, but with no other option, he ordered a new mixer from the internet, not knowing if it will be repairable or not. At least, with tiny hope, he ordered another brand.

Felicity opened her washing machine, with a cracking noise. As she looked down at the door, she found out, the plastic thing holding the door was broken. Next week or two there is no one who would be able to come from service to repair it. With two kids at home, as the school is closed and they learned online they spent the rest of the day in the backyard of the house, she can not wait for weeks to solve this. It looks quite easy to replace, but after hours and hours of browsing on the internet, trying to find the right type of washing machine and the right component (swear this wasn’t easy) with high probability, it wasn´t available anymore. She could only order the whole door, but the price almost brought her heart attack. 

Should she buy a new washing machine? If only she would be able to sell her old one (actually not that old at all) but who will buy a broken one with the too expensive repair? “Such a complication in this turbulent time,” thought Felicity as she went to bed that evening, continuing wondering how to solve it.

 Sven was addicted to his bike. Actually, it was the best way to relax and move. He usually spent his days, often also late evenings by computer programming the new tool for meetings. He was very busy during Corona, and his job was very suitable for a home office anyways. 

The only one break during these days was biking and it holds him physically and psychically fit. But today it was obvious that he needs to replace his break. He clicked on the online shop to order the right one, but what a disappointment: “3 weeks delivery”. That sucks. He is used to maintaining his bike by himself, but this long delivery is a problem. He bikes daily and he is not the patient one really. He searches for other shops, other possibilities… with not much success.  

Evans morning starts with routine, shower, toast to the toaster, coffee to the coffee machine and a brief look at the morning news. But there was a difference. There was no beep of the toaster that would call him from TV. The smell called him back to the kitchen and the reason was obvious. Toasts stay stuck in the toaster. The automatic stop does not work anymore and the toasts, too black to be edible, creates smoke. 

As he had to hurry up to work, he ventilated the kitchen, took a banana and went to work. In the evening he took his small box with tools and tried to unscrew the bottom part. No tool was suitable for this. He gave up, evaluated the toaster as not necessary for life, and decided not to buy a new one because the situation in his job was very unstable nowadays. The next morning he has to go to the tests because his colleague was positive, and if he would be positive too, he would have to stay in quarantine. In this case, he could not bring it to service either. He has to forget his beloved breakfast, at least till the situation with the pandemic calms down.

Which solution brings repairability and its certification to these stories from the covid times? How would repairable certified products change them?

Peter will successfully maintain his power saw as it was before 🙂

Joana will find the manual to disassemble her repairable mobile in two clicks on web page.

Tims mixer would be possible to disassemble and repair without damage. He could also make a responsible consumer decision and find a reliable mixer with the repairably certification.

Felicity will easily find her repairable washing machine on web thanks to the alphanumeric code, unique to her type, which can be found on the washing machine next to the repairably logo. Then she can order the right component thanks to a list of components with photos on the web and at an acceptable price.

Sven would find his bike brake on the repairable web, click on the component that brings him to the producer web page with a delivery time within 3 days, such a relief!

And Evan´s repairable toaster will be easy to disassemble with common tools and manuals, both published on web.

We could guess how many solutions would be brought by a certification of repairability in our lives. But we can be sure that the importance of repairability grows in times like this, times of a lockdown and other turbulent times we can count on during the upcoming climate change.

We need to be able to repair our products, to have the right to repair, to have the access to manuals to product disassembly, to have the possibility to buy new components, to have the certification that guarantees an easy and affordable repair. Now more than ever.

Some (pessimists) would say a utopia. We say necessity.

Stay repair positive (only) dear all.


*Some of these stories are inspired by our lives, some are just fiction.

Written by: Daniela Laluhova

Illustrations: Martin Laluha, artist (see more art here)