The urge for most of us is to throw something away—even if it means we have to buy a new one for more money—as it’s often easier than finding a store that will fix it, taking it there, then going out later and picking it back up, all with the chance that it might break again in the future.
But the residents of one Glasgow neighorhood are taking on that important responsibility.
After a mend and repair shop opened in the Govanhill neighborhood, hundreds of residents began bringing in broken electronics and clothes to be repaired, resisting the urge to rid themselves of the problem by going on Amazon and getting a new one.
The shop is called Remade, and it’s looking to change the way Britain consumes.
A team of technicians, general repairmen, and tailors work, not out of charity, but as part of what the BBC described as a thriving business fixing every imaginable gadget, home appliance, lawn machine, garment, jewelry, and even Christmas ornament.
Along with mending broken items, Remade also works to find items new homes as a second-hand outlet, as well as connecting unneeded laptops or other internet-connected gadgets with homes that lack them.
So far they’ve supplied 1,000 computers to people after receiving donations from Glasgow city council.
The BBC spoke with one repeat customer who said she had a watershed moment when an extension cable she owned stopped working.
“My immediate response was, well that sucks—I guess I will go to an online retailer like Amazon and buy another one,” she said. “Then I thought—hang on, there’s absolutely no need to do that—I know this place is open just down the road.”
It’s not easy these days to see that thought through to the end.
But it’s the right thing to do for the planet in a sense, as old electronics are contributing enormously to non-degradable landfill waste.
Furthermore, it’s not only the burden of transporting, storing, and tossing e-waste in a landfill, but the emissions that come from producing its replacement.
Computers, phones, and tablets for example need microchips that rely on lithium to produce, which is a rare earth mineral that is costly—both in terms of dollars and CO2 emissions—to mine.
Fortunately it’s not only GNN who knows this, and the Remade staff has grown to eleven employees to keep up with the demand of Scots taking on the mission of having their old stuff fixed up.