The Remakery: Fix-It-Yourself Retail

Fast Company: “The British social entrepreneur Sophie Unwin thinks there’s room for a new kind of repair shop with an entirely new business model. The Edinburgh Remakery, her shop in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, is part thrift shop, part maker space, part repair shop, and part learning center. It doesn’t just repair broken electronics, furniture, or textiles–it teaches customers to fix things themselves. Because the Remakery’s policy is that they always fix your stuff in front of you, the focus shifts from a transactional service to a learning experience.”

“For Unwin, the goal of Remakery is twofold. First, the company helps prevent waste from going to the landfill–a valuable proposition for local governments, since she says they typically spend about $160 per ton of waste … Second, Remade is showing how investing in repair and repair education creates jobs. Unwin believes that given the number of cities and towns in the U.K. and the success of the Edinburgh Remakery so far, there’s the potential to create 8,000 jobs in computer and electronics, furniture, and textile repair education.”

“In 2018, Remade will start a bona fide franchise, where anyone who wants to start up a Remakery will receive branding, templates, consulting time, and training to help with funding, location, recruitment, and business planning. After a launch period of 18 months, new Remakeries will pay 5% of their income back to the larger organization in return for continued support and to remain a part of the network. Unwin hopes to also use Remade to advocate for designing products that are built to last.”

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