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Want to repair your broken stuff? Sign the Right to Repair petition!

When you purchase a smartphone, tablet, dishwasher or washing machine, you would think they are yours for keeps, right? Well, we hate to break it to you but this isn’t technically true…

Because, if your electrical item or appliance breaks and there are no spare parts or fixing advice available, you’re forced to give it up and buy a new one when all you really want to do is keep the old one and save the cash!

Well, that’s where The Restart Project’s Right to Repair campaign comes in! This charitable organisation tirelessly campaigns to make sure the products we own are able to last as long as we want them to. And, you can help them achieve this mission!

What is the Right to Repair campaign?

eSpares And Restart Project Logos Together
The campaign was set up by The Restart Project, a people-powered social enterprise that believes that we should all have the right to repair the things that we own! Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it! Truth is it’s not that simple. Without the right tools and information available, our broken things end up going to landfill and the environment, as well as our pockets, suffers.

So, as well as hosting Restart Parties which help gadget owners fix their broken stuff, The Restart Project wanted to take it further and encourage the UK government to give consumers a real right to repair. They teamed up with other like-minded organisations across Europe such as IFixIt and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) to spread the Right to Repair message to as many people as possible.

What have they achieved so far?

Person Helping Someone Fix Appliance
In March 2021, the ‘Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations’ law was passed which stated that companies that sell consumer electronics such as refrigerators, washing machines or TVs in the European Union and the UK will need to ensure those goods can be repaired for up to 10 years.

Although a huge achievement for the Right to Repair community, the law has many flaws. The current laws only apply to new models of household appliances but fail to include small appliances such as vacuums and electrical devices such as smartphones and laptops. Another issue is that although there is a promise to make repair guides available, it seems that some of these will only be provided to professional repairer companies and not to consumers or community repair initiatives. Finally, information on how repairable products are is not provided at the time of purchase. Making this mandatory would encourage manufacturers to be honest about the repairability of their products and provide support to their customers as well as helping consumers make more informed decisions.

So, the fight continues for better rules to be established and more rights to be put forward for repairers.

That’s where you come in…

The Restart Project need your help to push this message and get the attention of the UK government. They have set up a petition outlining three main things:

Spare Parts In Shopping Basket

1. Make spare parts available to ALL

As the new measures only give access to some spares and repair manuals to professional repairers, the petition is calling for this to be available to consumers and community repair initiatives too meaning everyone has the ability to repair the items that they own themselves.

Laptop, Phone And Tablet

2. Include smartphones, tablets and laptops, and other products

As well as larger appliances, the Right to Repair law should apply to small appliances and electricals too! Currently, tablets are no longer even included in the UK’s study on the future of the Right to Repair.

Receipt With VAT

3. Lower the cost of repairs

The petition is also calling for a reduction in VAT on the repair of electricals and electronic products. This would also contribute to creating 34,000 jobs in the repair economy.

Your signature can make a real difference

With the help of our eSpares community, the petition already has a whopping 5K signatures already! If you have already signed, we’d like to say a huge thank you and remind you to share this with family, friends and colleagues to spread the message as much as possible. If you haven’t got round to it yet, there’s no time like the present!

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