In order to move towards a circular economic model, it is important to improve the quality and repairability of products. A gap in this process is the lack of balanced and active communication between producers, consumers and repairers. There is, however, an enormous potential for information about the repairability of products among consumers.
With the Repairable project, Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken wants to build an active dialogue between producers, consumers and repairers. We want to explore how users, with their experience in repairing products, can become an equal discussion partner with industry, distributors and policymakers.
Specifically, through an action research project, the Great Repair Study, we investigated the repairability of items and the bottlenecks that consumers experience. Based on that, we designed and tried out different methodologies to involve different stakeholders in the debate. With the results and learning lessons from these tests, we can go to policy makers, midfielders, repairers and producers. In this way, we hope this project will stimulate smart product design on the one hand and conscious consumer behaviour on the other.
Netwerk Bewust Verbruiken vzw
Partners Stuyverij vzw, Komosie
Our project showed the potential of the tested methods and aroused interest among partner organisations, both in Flanders and beyond. Together with some of these organisations, we worked on a European project, Sharepair. That project was approved even before the end of Repairable, allowing us to cash in on the results immediately and take action on a larger scale.
Sharepair aims to support the repair ecosystem, among other things by developing digital tools in cooperation with users. The questionnaires and methods (IVOX, diary method, etc.) of our project functioned as a starting point for knowledge development within Sharepair. We shared our research findings, contributed to a good practices report on citizen panels and play an active role in a coalition of European cities that wants to roll out new citizen panels.