Fewer than one in ten people in the UK attempt to repair or restore their broken furniture, according to new research.
Every year in the UK, nearly 22 million small pieces of furniture, more than 11,000 bicycles and more than 28 million toys are thrown away when they become damaged, a study by North London Waste Authority (NLWA) found.
A recent survey found that 99% of UK adults now "actively recycle", and many of us are trying to correct our recycling mistakes so we minimise the impact we have on the planet.
But Councillor Clyde Noakes of the NLWA says that going forward, more of us will want to repair as well as recycle in order to help the environment.
"As society becomes more aware of the impact of our waste on the environment, we believe there is an appetite for moving away from the culture of habitually binning – or even recycling – and buying new," he said. "But many of us don’t have the skills to extend the life of household items – only 15 per cent of those we asked in our survey said they had repair skills."
To this end, the NWLA has launched a series of pop-up "repair cafés" in north London to teach people the skills they need to fix their broken household items. The NLWA has partnered with TRAID, the charity which works to stop people from throwing away unwanted clothes, to teach Londoners key sewing skills.
While this is currently just a local project – sadly – an organisation called The Restart Project runs "restart parties" all over the UK where people learn how to repair damaged electronic goods. You can check out a list of upcoming events here.