Why Repairability is Essential for the Future Homeware Industry

Plywood installation using fluorescent tape to hold sections together. Jorge Penadés

Householders are increasingly questioning their consumption habits, thinking deeply about the availability of “fast homeware” and looking to more circular and sustainable practices. 

Repairability will become a vital part of product lifecycles in the homeware industry as growing environmental awareness, paired with financial pressures means that householders are increasingly looking to fix broken or rundown items, rather than purchasing new ones.

“The future’s most successful and savvy brands will be those who deeply consider how repairability can be fully incorporated into their design processes. Contemporary consumer needs for cost reduction and the desire to limit environmental impact can be met when a product’s full lifecycle is considered.”

Hannah Craggs, Head of Subscription, TrendBible.

Young Gen Z male mending a footstool on his kitchen table
Liz Seabrook for Toast

Fix it first

57% of surveyed UK adults said that they had fixed or repaired an item rather than replacing with a new one in 2022 – Deloitte

Statistics show that householders are tapping into circular mindsets and are increasingly looking to fix or repair broken items rather than replacing them with new ones. This marks a vital shift in awareness of consumption habits, influenced by the ongoing cost of living crisis as well as environmental concerns.

A demand for repairability

80% of French consumers would give up their favourite brand for a more repairable product – Samsung
Conscious consumers are demanding brands and retailers to act, and statistics indicate that repairability and longevity is a key purchase-driver, particularly for big-ticket items such as furniture or home electricals. Customers want to shop with brands and retailers that allow them to consume responsibly.

Opportunity for Reduced Waste

SUEZ estimates 13 million items per year could be put back into use within the homeware sector.

A focus on repair and reuse over repurchasing could significantly impact the amount of waste that furniture and homewares contribute to landfills. SUEZ’s estimates reveal that the homeware industry is missing an opportunity to put products back into use and avoid it going to waste in the first place. Dr Adam Read, Chief External Affairs and Sustainability Officer at SUEZ explains, “Repair is a fundamental element of the circular economy and a key component in our fight against climate change.”

A young male and female recovering a sofa together

How can the homeware industry embrace reuse and repair for a more sustainable product strategy?

“As a creative industry, we all need to be asking ourselves ‘truthfully, how easy are our products to repair?’ as repairability and the circular lifecycle of the product should be embedded into a brand’s purpose; from the drawing board through to production line. There is potential for the creation of community, skill sharing and open access to mending methods too, all of which will strengthen the bond between brand and buyer.” Hannah Craggs, Head of Subscription, TrendBible.

Available to Premium My TrendBible subscribers our new report Repair: A Modern Mending Movement identifies the opportunities brands and retailers can use to make repairability part of their strategy and services within the homeware industry. My TrendBible Premium is a trend subscription designed to ignite inspiration, stimulate innovative ideas, instill confidence in your teams to act upon trends, and offer validation from across the globe.

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