Fixing Factories: an exciting new chapter for Restart

Back in 2019, our friends at climate charity Possible outlined their vision for ‘fixing factories’, local community repair hubs where people could get advice and practical help with repairs.

We’re now excited to announce that we’re working with Possible, Ready Tech Go, West London Waste Authority, and Mer IT to update this original vision and make it a reality!

We’re designing and testing two visions of Fixing Factories in London. :factory: :hammer_and_wrench:
These will be permanent places for community-powered repair. With funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the project will work with volunteers and repair businesses on a Camden high street and inside a Brent waste facility.

We’ll turn the Fordist factory on its head and forge new spaces for fixing, learning, curiosity and empowerment. Opportunities for 16-30 year olds, including skills development, training, and paid work – will be central. Our fresh approach, novel locations and community powered design can create new forms of climate action that meet local needs and involve new communities.

Camden’s Fixing Factory

Possible will lead in Camden, securing a storefront space to operate a Fixing Factory focusing on small household appliances and electronics. Devices such as toasters, hand-held electronics, kettles and hoovers are difficult to get fixed – a significant market failure that helps lock low-income households into an expensive cycle of replacement of lower-cost, lower-quality items.

Operating standard opening hours, the Factory will allow residents to:

  • :iphone: Get their broken products fixed on a ‘donate as you feel’ model
  • :woman_mechanic: Join repair workshops/1-2-1 learning sessions (including online)
  • :recycle: Learn how waste, fixing and reuse affect the climate crisis and discuss systemic solutions
  • :mortar_board: Discover funded training opportunities via our partner Mer-IT
  • :speaking_head: Access community space for networking, volunteering and socialising

The Factory will host local professional repairers working ‘front of house’, bringing the intrigue of fixing into public view. To broaden the Factory’s appeal, attract new people and diversify revenue we will explore offering low-cost community space hire after hours, hosting a community cafe on local concession, opening a retro gaming arcade.

Brent’s Fixing Factory

In partnership with West London Waste Authority (WLWA) and local grassroots group Ready Tech Go (RTG), we’ll create a laptop Fixing Factory inside Abbey Road recycling centre. Local volunteer and professional repairers will repurpose computers for local school children out of adapted shipping containers, putting fixing on show and engaging residents dropping waste. Young people will be invited to learn and volunteer onsite, with training and work experience pathways available again through Mer-IT.

We want to test live repair at a mass discard site, examining how effective this contrast is in reducing e-waste and changing behaviour. Besides daily repair, we’ll host public events demonstrating how laptops can have valuable second lives and facilitating deeper learning about solutions to the impacts of e-waste.

We’re hiring :mega:

To make this a reality, we’re hiring for a total of three roles:

What do you think?

Our approach has been grounded in the needs of communities where we’ll be operating, since we even conceived of this project, and will continue to be. But do you have some ideas that can help us design these Factories?


Very exciting news and really interested to learn from what you guys are up to as we explore setting up a physical base in Portsmouth. Initially we’re looking at a Repair Café base that incorporates the Library of Things concept, but can see many other possible links with training, reducing eWaste and working with many other local projects…the question always seems to come back to sustainability and will we always be chasing funding, and how to actually fund some paid roles.
Any learnings, tips, suggestions, welcome.



Thanks Clare! It’s very much early days at the moment, but we certainly plan to share our experiences as the project develops :+1:

It would be great to hear how the Repair Café + Library of Things concept comes along too