Repairable Products Make Good Sense
Repair is good for people, the planet, and product longevity.
What is Repairability?
Repairability means making it possible—and ideally easy—to repair a product. A repairable product is designed with disassembly in mind (it should be easy to take apart and put back together). It must also have parts, tools, service documentation, and software available, as well as no artificial barriers to repair such as parts pairing. Together, these aspects make up the repair ecosystem.
Repairable Products Make a Difference
80% choose repairable
France now requires that electronics manufacturers put a repairability score at the point of sale. The vast majority of French consumers say they would give up their favorite brand for a more repairable one.
92% less waste
Microsoft found that repairing a product creates far less waste and 89% reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to replacing it.
6 in 10 need more
The majority of Americans think that consumers don’t have enough options for getting things repaired, a Consumer Reports survey found.
Americans could save $49.6 billion annually by repairing rather than replacing some common household products. Offering DIY repair solutions provides circular economy business models.
Say no to cheap, breakable stuff and support companies that make quality products. You’ll save more in the long term when you spend a bit more on a product that will last three times longer.
Great products build brand loyalty.
Repair isn’t just good for consumers—it offers great benefits to businesses, too. Many companies embrace DIY repair. They know that people who fix their stuff are dedicated customers.
Providing the information and tools needed to fix products cuts down on support costs. Customers love it when they can get their stuff fixed quickly—whether by themselves or at a local repair shop.
The Biggest Barriers to Repair
Designed for the dump
Sometimes manufacturers use proprietary screws, requiring drivers only available to their own repair techs—like Apple’s pentalobe and Jura’s oval. Sometimes designers make opening a product destructive. The original Microsoft Surface laptop had a felt case that had to be cut open and spot welds underneath that (newer models are much better!).
Missing access to parts, tools, and documentation
Repairability isn’t just about design—it’s about the whole ecosystem. If people can’t get access to parts, tools, documentation, or software, they can’t finish a repair. A study of repair behavior named the unavailability of parts, tools, and manuals as three of the main reasons for unsuccessful repairs.
Even if a product can physically be repaired, too many products have additional software barriers to repair. Nearly half of iPhone parts today are paired, meaning that you need special manufacturer-only software to repair them without errors. A truly repairable product doesn’t have software limitations like this.
There’s a better way.
iFixit is working on both sides of the table, supporting
legislation to enforce Right to Repair initiatives and help
manufacturers make repairable products.