This call has now finished, but if you missed it, don’t worry! Keep reading for a summary of what we discussed:
Who was in the room?
@club_de_reparadores - Marina is one of the organisers of the Buenos Aires based repair group
@Stuart_Ward - organiser of Reading Repair Café
@ugo - Restart co-founder (and professional Right to Repair enthusiast!)
@james (me )
What did we talk about?
Right to Repair - European campaign
Ugo gave some background on the new Right to Repair campaign in Europe, which Restart (and @Chloe in particular) is helping co-ordinate. The campaign launched at Fixfest Berlin and currently includes 22 organisations from 9 countries across Europe. We then talked about how community repair events fit into the picture. Here are the key points from the call:
1. Why Europe?
Europe is well placed to enact a universal Right to Repair because it’s currently the only part of the world looking at (and legislating for) the design of products. While there is a similar (and older) movement in the USA, it’s more focused on preventing manufactures from blocking independent repairers (and citizens) from performing repairs - the right to choose who can repair your product.
2. What is the campaign looking to achieve?
The campagin has three initial objectives:
a) pro-repair ecodesign regulations have recently been applied to a few types of products (including washing machines, dishwashers and TVs). We want these applied to other products e.g. smartphones & computers. Manufactures are trying to water down these regulations (even more than they already have) - we need to provide a counterweight
b) we want to ensure that all EU countries have inclusive registers of repairers . The recently approved regulations require each member state to create a register of repairers, which will be used to define ‘professional repairers’ - the people who will be given access to spare parts and documentation. Failure to create these registers (and make them as inclusive as possible) will result in manufacturers deciding themselves who can access parts and manuals
c) we want consumers to be aware of products’ repairability at the point of purchase, so we all know what we’re buying. We’re pushing for the EU to develop a repairability score index, which should appear alongside the energy efficiency label that already exists. This would be a big step towards products being designed to be more repairable.
3. Where do community repair groups fit it?
Public support is really important for the campaign. Its success will depend to a large extent on people putting pressure on lawmakers across Europe to support pro-repair legislation over the next few years. Community repair groups are in an ideal position to ‘bring the campaign to the people’ and vice versa.
Most of us felt that our repair events can too easily miss the opportunity to communicate the broader issues around why we repair and activate participants (and volunteers) to engage in these issues (from talking to their local elected representative or council to campaigning or petitioning manufacturers).
We agreed that the Right to Repair campaign is a good opportunity to frame these broader discussions so that events become an opportunity to spread the word about bigger issues, not just individual repairs.
4. How can the campaign support community repair groups?
We tried to answer this question: How can we inspire, inform and activate volunteers and participants to get involved (as campaigners or activists) in their own communities?
We came up with the following ways the campaign team could help event organisers:
Share a specific and concrete call to action to channel enthusiasm (e.g. sign a petition or something like this)
Provide a symbol (e.g. a badge or pin) that people can wear/carry with them as conversation starters
Host short talks in the middle of repair events with speakers who bring insight into issues around why we repair, the environmental emergency and so on. These can bring more people into the event as well as remind people of the bigger picture.
Provide a presentation: slides with facts about the Right to Repair
Provide flyers or leaflets for participants to read while waiting or take away with them.
Describe ways that volunteers can engage with this background in order to talk to people at events around Right to Repair issues
The campaign team will be providing a ‘resource kit’ for community repair groups soon.
If you have questions about the campaign (such as how to join it or get involved), feel free to ask them in the main conversation about this here:
ICYMI: The European Right to Repair campaign
Cc those who couldn’t make it on the night: @Angel, @catherine_causley & @steve.cousens