Repair Manifesto

Platform21 was a design platform, based in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), which aimed to ‘positively influence the relationship between user and product’. Platform21 opened in 2006 and over several years produced 16 different projects and organised 53 club nights, shows and workshops. Their work can still be viewed online.

As a long-time member of Glasgow’s Repair Café, Deirdre Nelson decided to use Platform21’s Repair Manifesto as the basis of her piece of work for REsolve. The manifesto opposes ‘throwaway culture and celebrates repair as the new recycling’ – one of the main principles of the Circular Economy. It’s been downloaded from Platform21’s website over a million times worldwide.

REPAIR MANIFESTO (Click here to download a pdf)

1) Make your products live longer!
Repairing means taking the opportunity to give your product a second life. Don’t ditch it, stich it! Don’t end it, mend it! Repairing is not anti-consumption. It is anti-needlessly throwing things away.

2) Things should be designed so that they can be repaired.
Product designers: Make your products repairable. Share clear, understandable information about DIY repairs.
Consumers: Buy things you know can be repaired, or else find out why they don’t exist. Be critical and inquisitive.

3) Repair is not replacement.
Replacement is throwing away the broken bit. This is NOT the kind of repair we are taking about.

4) What doesn’t kill it makes it stronger.
Every time we repair something, we add to its potential, its history, its soul and its inherent beauty.

5) Repairing is a creative challenge.
Making repairs is good for the imagination. Using new techniques, tools and materials usher in possibility rather than dead ends.

6) Repair survives fashion.
Repair is not about styling or trends. There are no due dates for repairable items.

7) To repair is to discover.
As you fix objects, you’ll learn amazing things about how they actually work. Or don’t work.

8) Repair – even in good times!
If you think this manifesto has to do with the recession, forget it. This isn’t about money, it’s about a mentality.

9) Repaired things are unique.
Even fakes become originals when you repair them.

10) Repairing is about independence.
Don’t be a slave to technology – be its master. If it is broken, fix it and make it better. And if you are a master, empower others.

11) You can repair anything, even a plastic bag.
But we recommend getting a bag that will last longer, and then repairing it if necessary.

Stop recycling. Start repairing.