The Consumer Economy
Consumer economy is an economic concept that most societies live by at present time. It encourages us to relate with products in ways that unfortunately damage the planet and promote a learned collective helplessness; making us rely on constantly buying more, thereby contributing to landfills of discarded items. Fast-fashion is a direct derivative of this profit-based mindset, completely disregarding the durability, the ethicality of its production and the time allotted use.
There was a time before the growth of consumerism when big ticket items used to come with manuals on how to repair them, now trying to do so might result in voiding the warranty, making people buy more often. People often discard broken items rather than trying to fix them. It is also common for companies to discourage buyers to repair their broken items, either by pushing them not to do so with warranty policies, or by advertising their newest technology or trends. This makes our old fixable items look a lot more unappealing and unusable.
What is the Repair Economy
It is an economic concept where the values of sustainability, durability and material health come together and form its own circular economy effort. Material things are not considered as expendable, they hold value that makes them worth repairing. This promotes the sustainability of the object as it encourages people to repair and reuse their items instead of buying new ones. This mindset helps form ‘repair and reuse communities’ generating a sense of care, pride, belonging and civic participation that is lost in our present consumer economy.
Moving to a Repair economy
We are seeing a resurgence in the repair economy over the last three years. Europe is currently pushing laws obliging manufacturers to make appliances repairable and enduring. USA and Australia legislation are also pushing to make it illegal for companies to discourage their clients from fixing what they bought.
A repair economy is essential for the way we design, research, produce and sell our products at
BEDI Studios. We want our clients to understand the long term value of the items they are buying from us. By offering a lifetime guarantee along with our second life program, our clients are aware of the value of their pieces and have options to repair them with us. You can do your part to be part of the repair economy by mending your clothing and furniture before tossing/swapping out; holding onto technology items such as cell phones when new versions are released.
The repair and circular economies are very important conversations that we are always proud to promote. Our founder, Inder Bedi, will be appearing at the “Values of goods in the Circular Economy” panel with other leaders of the sustainable design Industry at George Brown University in Toronto on February 15th to explain his thoughts on the benefits of maintaining goods through restoration and generation. We encourage our community to join us at this fireside chat and are looking forward to seeing you then !