Earlier this Fall, we stopped by the European Parliament in Brussels to show some folks there how to fix their phones.
The repair-focused showcase was part of massive effort to put Europe on the path to a circular economy—an economic system where materials are designed to recirculate back into the marketplace at the end of their lives as opposed to being tossed into a dump or incinerated. In fact, the European Parliament is considering taking some legislative measures that would reduce waste—including e-waste.
A circular economy champions goods that are made to be re-made—whether by reuse, remanufacturing, or recycling. Of course, repair is central to that goal. Fixing stuff is our first line of defense against waste. Plus, it saves people money and creates local jobs. So, repair is a win for the economy and a win for the environment.
The event brought together several organizations in Europe for a hands-on demonstration of repair techniques. iFixit has a European office—headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany—so we trotted on over to Belgium, pulled out our spudgers, and showed Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) how to repair their phones. We also talked about some design strategies that could increase the likelihood of repair—like modular components, user-replaceable batteries, and standardized screws. We even helped a couple of MEPs and EU Parliament staff members fix their iPhones.
Here’s some snapshots of the event:
We showed members of the European Parliament and their staff how to open up iPhones for repair.
Following repair instructions for a broken iPhone on iFixit.
The Repair Manifesto: If you can’t fix it, you don’t own it.
The Horizon training center—part of the charity organization Les Petits Riens, which provides jobs for the underprivileged—demonstrates how modular washing machines can be repaired. This is especially important, as household appliances make up a large portion of the waste stream.
iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens goes to the European Parliament to talk about repair—but first, a selfie.