It wasn’t breaking news, but from October 20 to 22, the first National Repair Days took place. The proximity of the event to the National Heritage Days is no coincidence, since this time, the focus was on preserving our living heritage: the one we use on a daily basis, and that we have to maintain with the means at our disposal. This event, set up by the French organization HOP (for “Stop Planned Obsolescence”) and the Make.org endowment fund, was the opportunity to announce the imminent arrival of the textile and leather repair bonus (after the one for electrical and electronic appliances), made to cover part of the repair cost, to encourage the French to give a second life to their clothes, household linen and shoes. When we talk about repair, we’re not just talking about furniture, household appliances and bicycles.
According to ADEME, while 81% of us have a good image of repair, we are only 33% to have our goods repaired. Hence the need for incentives. Over the three days of the event, associations, “ressourceries” (recycling depots), repair cafés, third-party venues, Fablabs and other “fertile plateaux” opened their doors and organized a variety of meetings and events across France, including conferences, debates and participatory workshops with expert coaches. Making repair a major national cause is an initiative as original as it is relevant.
Original, because the environmental responsibility of brands and chains is all too often limited to taking back used products in exchange for new ones at a lower price, and all too rarely to offering repair services. It’s easy to see why. In the textile sector, repairing sometimes rhymes with customization, which doesn’t have the same meaning.
Relevant, because thanks to the creation of a dedicated website, the National Repair Days have made it easier to find trusted repair station and ressourcerie addresses close to home, when you need it. Where to find a repairer? How can I identify a “good” repairer? What are their areas of expertise? What is the feedback from those who have already used them?
The repair market has not yet been touched by marketing logic. It’s time to think about it.