Child repairing a toy electric car with a screwdriver

The repair revival

14 Oct 22 4 minute read

Repair is becoming a more essential element of our lives as we look to ways that we can all live more sustainably. 

Four-fifths of the carbon footprint generated by Scotland comes from the products and materials we use. If we continue at the rate we are going, producing and buying new instead of repairing things that already exist, then the problem will keep on escalating.  

International Repair Day 2022

The theme of this year’s International Repair Day is ‘repair is everywhere’ and is encouraging those new to repair to give it a go.  

It could be as simple as

  • Giving something a clean like your toaster tray or the filter in your vacuum cleaner
  • Reviving your bike by pumping up the wheels or oiling the chain
  • Small fixes like changing the fuse in a lamp or sewing a patch onto a hole in your jeans to keep them in use for longer

Other ways to get involved

  1. Share a photo of your repair project on social media using #RepairDay and #RepairEverywhere. 

  2. Are you a dab hand at repairs? Pass on your knowledge by helping friends or family with a repair. 

  3. Support a local repair business. 

Putting repair into practice

We chatted with three members of the Zero Waste Scotland team to find out about their recent repair projects... 

Miriam: “We had an old oven and hob, it worked perfectly well but the lettering had worn off so you couldn’t see which dial turned on the grill, oven or changed the temperature.  

“My husband found an online company specialising in replacement stickers. We just needed to give then the make and model of the oven and they send you the stickers to put on and tell you where they go. 

“For the sake of a few stickers we’ve saved a whole oven from being thrown out.” 

Repairing the stickers on an oven hob.jpg

Amy: “A few years back I received a handbag as a birthday present. It went everywhere with me. Nights out (remember those?), dinner dates and even became my work handbag for a while. Looking back that’s probably where it went wrong.  

“Trying to pile everything in - including a reusable bottle filled with water - as if it was Mary Poppins’ magic carpet bag took its toll on the handles. Eventually, the strap became detached from the side of the bag and I made more holes in my finger than the fabric trying to sew it back together, it was just too thick.  

“It was about to be game over for the bag when my friend suggested that I try using Sugru mouldable glue. I’ll be honest I was skeptical at first but gave it a go, nonetheless.  

“To my surprise it worked a treat. I just pushed the putty-like glue into the hole that had been created and then pressed the handle into it. The repair is barely visible, and the bag is still going strong. The handle feels more secure than it did before the repair so I’m confident I’ll get many more years of enjoyment out of it now.” 

Michelle: “I like to start my day with a smoothie. Not a shop bought one full of sugar, but a nutritious yet delicious blend of fruit, fibre and often greens like spinach. I have a famous-brand blender that comes with a box of specialist attachments, but the jug is always on the counter ready for action.  

“That is until one day when it gave up the ghost. The handle cracked and I put up with it for a while like that, but then the base attachment was spinning when it really shouldn’t have been.  

“The motor was put in a cupboard and life went on. With lockdown comes new regimes, and I was missing my daily smoothie fix. Being a thrifty sort of individual my ‘go-to’ is to repair but in this case, I had to default to ‘replace’ and bought a new jug. A modest price tag of £22 was a pleasure and now my day is back to starting with a meal in a glass.” 

Repair resources

If you’ve been inspired to try out your own repair, there are plenty of resources online to help: