You want to repair your iPhone. What about that wobbly crib?
Most household goods end their life in a landfill.
The Right to Repair movement is a response to reduced access to the repair of technological parts and/or equipment, limiting the life span of a product that is dependent on the original manufacturers consent to repair, either by making the repair information or parts unavailable or inaccessible, or by enforcing “proprietary” rights. Advocates argue that being unable to fix something means you don't really own it. Seeing that most of our consumer goods are difficult or impossible to repair, the Right to Repair movement needs to be much more than a tech issue.
As furniture manufacturing has moved to a factory-built, mass-produced, “fast-furnishings” business model, consumers almost always purchase furniture that cannot easily or safely be repaired. This is largely the result of using engineered wood products, poor quality (and hard to find) hardware and one-off finishes. It is impossible for a consumer to speak with someone who can tell them what their furniture is made with and how to get a replacement part.
Today, consumers have filled their houses with wobbly furniture, chipped finishes and cracked parts that have no hope of being repaired. Right to Repair needs to extend to ALL consumer products.
Our baby crib manufacturing business recently received a phone call from a new father who needed his “big-box store” crib repaired. The store where he bought the crib had gone under, and the manufacturer was unreachable (not to mention on the other side of the planet). He could not find parts to repair the crib, and the cheap hardware that came with it had stripped the plywood screw holes. In desperation he called us to ask if there was anything we could do. We couldn’t repair the crib with any guarantees of safety because it was so poorly constructed. The materials used to build the crib couldn’t be repaired or recycled, and it was too dangerous to sell to someone else. As a result, this crib will spend years leaching toxic chemicals into a landfill site after less than 2 years of use.
Solid wood cribs are robust and will last for decades!
It should be illegal to sell something as huge and resource intensive as a crib with a lifespan of only 18-24 months.
In Canada last year, 360,000 babies were born. If the average crib bought in Canada has a lifespan of around 2 years, how many cribs are ending up in landfills every year because they are too cheaply made to be repaired or safely resold? We should all be concerned that every new baby results in another toxic environmental hazard.
The Right to Repair movement needs to be much more than a tech issue.
As the founder of LuLé and a proud mom, I am passionate about helping you make the right decisions for your baby. All blog posts are based on information found on respected government or institutional websites, such as Health Canada.