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The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously hindered repairing together in 2020. This was already obvious, but an analysis of the RepairMonitor underscores it. With this online tool, Repair Café volunteers have been collecting repair data since 2017.

Far less repairs recorded

In 2020, volunteers entered only 5,500 repairs in the RepairMonitor: far less than in 2018 and 2019. This is not surprising; due to the lockdown, Repair Cafés in most countries were at a standstill for months starting in mid-March. Repairing together was not permitted.

In the initial year 2017, 3,900 repairs were entered into the RepairMonitor. After that, that number rose rapidly.

Repairing was even more popular than ever

Yet, in the first months of 2020, the number of repairs carried out was higher than in the same period of 2019.

In January and February 2020, more than 3,500 repairs were entered into RepairMonitor; more than ever!

Long queues at waste recycling centres

Repair Café International is afraid that in the rest of 2020, many items were unjustly thrown away. “From the start of the lockdown, we’ve seen long row of cars at recycling centres and waste stations”, says director Martine Postma. “People cleaned up their homes and threw things away en masse during the pandemic. Even things that could have been repaired in the Repair Café or that could have been made to work perfectly again with a bit of care and maintenance.”

High demand for repair services

For this reason, Martine believes it’s essential that Repair Cafés be allowed to reopen quickly. “The RepairMonitor shows once again that they meet a huge need. More and more people want to repair things and like to get some help with that at a Repair Café. Given the circular economy, they should be getting that support again as soon as possible.”

More results from the RepairMonitor

Do you want to know which items the Repair Cafés in your country see most often? And which item is most often successfully repaired? Our factsheet contains many more results from 2020 and previous years. Download the factsheet here:

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