As part of the Repair Acts workshop in Penryn,18-19th October 2019 Professor Stephano Pascicci, Director of Research for Sustainable Futures gave a public lecture, exploring the links between Repair and Circular Economy.
There were two stand-out messages for us in this.
The first was the importance of repairing and maintaining relationships as well as repairing and maintaining physical things. This was the first topic he covered and puts relationships central to exploring the circular economy and to thinking about repair.
The second was repair as an act of resistance. When we were growing up repair was a financial necessity – darning tights and socks, repairing clothes and household equipment. Repairing clothing wasn’t a look we always liked!(In fact I sometimes hated it – an aside from Sarah!). For many the financial necessity of repair continues. However, in a time of increased consumption, environmental degradation and climate crisis,repair is also as a micro-political act of resistance. In such resistance necessity hasn’t gone out of the picture. Repair responds to the environmental necessity to reduce waste, pollution and the unnecessary exhaustion of materials. Sharing and developing the skill to do repairs is crucial, for example through the support of the Repair Cafe movement, sharing ideas at social get togethers and workplace and school activities.
The Falmouth Repair cafe were also at the Repair Acts public event and here is an excellent repair to a coat which was in great condition except for a ripped pocket. The owner was very happy that her coat was once again both smart, warm and ready for many more years of use.
So, go on, darn those socks, fix that printer, mend those sun glasses, rather than throw them away – I’m sure you can add to this list! Make it into a social event if you want to fit it, in a fun way, into a busy life. Spend time as well thinking about repairing relationships with the human and other-than-human world around us. What could repair mean mean for these?