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Not only coffee makers, vacuum cleaners and trousers are repaired at the Repair Café. Defective leaf blowers, bread makers and air fryers are brought there too, as well as jewelry and walkers. This is evident from an analysis of nearly 14,000 repairs.

Repair Café International analysed the data entered in 2019 in the RepairMonitor, the online tool with which Repair Café volunteers have been collecting their repair data since 2017. In 2019, data was entered by repairers from 67 Repair Cafés in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, the United States, and Belgium. The data has been compared with that from 2018 and 2017.

Convenience and comfort
“The products in the RepairMonitor say something about the daily lives of people in the Western world,” Repair Café International writes in the report. According to director Martine Postma, they give an indication of the high level of prosperity, and the convenience and comfort that most people in Western countries can afford.

“This is at odds with the pursuit of a sustainable future,” says Postma. “Take a product such as the leaf blower. It’s great when people take a broken leaf blower to the Repair Café instead of buying a new one. But if you really want to live sustainably and environmentally conscious, you better not buy one at all and use a rake in the garden. In that respect, there is still much room for improvement when it comes to not buying things or not doing certain things.”

63 percent of all repairs are successful
Of all the repairs implemented in 2019, 63 percent were successful; slightly less than in 2017 and 2018 (65 percent in both years). “Still, a large majority of the broken items in the Repair Café are being repaired successfully,” Postma responds. The success rate for electric/electronic products is lower (53 percent), but for non-electric/electronic products it is considerably higher (85 percent).

In short: repairing makes sense. In the transition to a circular economy, it should therefore be stimulated as much as possible, Repair Café International concludes in the report. “Repair Cafés are crucial in this respect,” says Postma. “They are populated by skilled volunteers, who spread their enthusiasm for repair like no other.”

Spare parts not available
The report also looks at barriers to repair. The most frequently mentioned obstacle is the non-availability of spare parts. It is also often not possible to open an object. Other frequently mentioned obstacles are: repair is too expensive, takes too much time, the object is too worn out or the object is generally not repairable.

Most presented products and brands
The top ten most presented products in the Repair Café have hardly changed compared to the previous two years. The coffee maker was the most registered product, just like in 2018. Trousers, vacuum cleaners, lamps, bicycles, clocks, computers/laptops, radios and coats made the top ten as well. Except for radios, these were also the most popular products in 2018.

Top ten products in the RepairMonitor 2019, with numbers 

The most common brands in the RepairMonitor 2019 are Philips, Sony, Bosch, Tefal, Miele, Nespresso, Samsung, HP, Black & Decker and Siemens. Only the last two are new in the top ten in 2019.

More information and joining the RepairMonitor
Want to know more? Download the complete report in English. Or read the summary. All figures represented in the report are separately available too.

Want to start collecting data via the RepairMonitor as well? Sign up your Repair Café now!

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