The Right to Repair

The “Right to Repair” movement is picking up steam, and rightly so. It is a business precept that should be the norm, rather than the exception, and it is a big factor in reducing our waste stream.

There are a few ways to reduce our waste stream: you can buy less frequently, buy smaller, buy recyclable/biodegradable, or buy repairable.

It can be difficult to buy less frequently when technology is changing ever faster. The best we can do is make the most out of each purchase, buying quality and maintaining what we have.

Computers are getting smaller, so why not embrace that trend and buy the smallest devices that perform their given functions? Smaller products = less material to create and less material to have to dispose.

Products made from recyclable materials, or that are made of recyclable materials, just makes sense. (Technology isn’t typically made from biodegradable materials … but maybe someday they will be.)

Buying something that is repairable is the focus of this article. I won’t single out a particular fruit-branded line of products, because there are so many products that are simply not repairable by the purchaser. The main focus of the industry has always been to build things that are inexpensive to mass produce, that are “pretty”, and that have the appearance of being “well built”. Little thought or effort has been put into making things repairable. Besides, if things were repairable, people wouldn’t need to buy as many things, thus reducing sales volume. And, if specialized tools or skills are needed for the repairs, that’s just another revenue stream for the producers of these things. Please think twice before supporting these suppliers.

There are a few companies that are showing us that the right to repair is paramount. Things should be repairable and upgradeable. Repairable things can still be inexpensive to mass produce, be pretty, and be well built.

I want to mention a few companies that have embraced the right-to-repair movement. Aptera will be producing vehicles before the end of 2022 that will not only be repairable, but will be the most efficient motorized vehicles ever mass produced. Framework has been producing repairable/upgradeable laptops since Aug2021. Pine64 has been producing repairable/upgradeable phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other products for the past few years. These companies make sure the components of their products are exchangeable, upgradeable, or repairable … offering to help you, or your designated repair-person, perform those repairs.

Isn’t that the way things should be?