Bump in interest in repair because of cost of living?

Hi all,
Has anyone running community events (or professional repair) noticed an increase in people wanting to repair, as a result of the increasing cost of living? I’m guessing it’s hard to separate from a general return to fixing post pandemic, but if anyone has any insights or anecdotes please let me know!
This is on the back on a media enquiry, but useful to know either way.


Hi Fi,
No thoughts on that exactly,
but another related thought that more buzz about repair generally (right to repair, The Repair Shop, etc.) is going to have increased interest in repair.

Maybe we should think about having a way to gather info about why people are coming to events?


Anecdotally we’ve had a couple of comments from people that they are pleased we’ve fixed their item as they couldn’t afford to replace it (at least not immediately).


Since we began our community crusade raising awareness of reuse and repair as far back as 2010-2011 and officially in 2012 we have noticed in the last few years, maybe more in the last couple of years that repair is becoming more mainstream. And there is more attention being paid to it with the formation of the Australian Repair Network and of course the Australian Right To Repair Inquiry in 2021.

Fixable.co has been funded by Sustainability Victoria
I’m Still Learning was funded by a real estate agent to the value of $13,000 and is going strong with maintenance and household repair workshops.
Repair Cafes are growing with about 100 community repair groups across Australia. Back in 2015 when we started to volunteer at them there were about 4 groups.

We have not specifically asked the question about the cost of living but groups have started advertising it when promoting repair activities.

Hope that helps inform you further, Fiona.

We’ve got a Repair Café this Saturday…want me to ask everyone that visits their prime motivation for booking in?

Hey Clare, sorry I missed this reply. Did you ask any of the attendees in the end?

Sorry…I didn’t…but was thinking that we could do a quick survey to our subscribers of our eNewsletter, to ask the top reasons for repairing at some point over the summer?


Great idea. Perhaps we can develop a template that other groups could use as well? We could get some pretty interesting data if it were from a few groups. When is the next newsletter?

Yes…something standard sounds a good idea…and the next one is just when I have time to send one. I’m around for the next week and a bit, but then offline for a couple of weeks…so either this month, or mid to late August. The latter might be better as then I’ll be highlighting September event dates too.


Great, let’s chat mid-late august about how to pull this together?

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Thought you might be interested is this article from Martin Lewis (moneysavingexpert) which refers to Repair Cafe’s in relation to cost of living increase.



Thanks Adam, yes this is part of what got us interested in whether people were getting into repair more… Some really useful responses, but overall it seems people aren’t making the connection. The next question is why??

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