The publication of the results of the repair survey* provides us with figures on the perception and practices of the French. The current trend, accentuated by the recent COVID-19 crisis, is confirmed: households are considering repair more. AGORA and the STARSAV network continue their awareness-raising mission by offering an analysis of the study data.
Repair costs less than buying: proof by the numbers
The number of French people who have a good image of the repair is increasing, going from 74% in 2014 to 81% in 2019. This perception is based on the will to work for ecology, save money and support local employment. In the event of a breakdown, 89% of respondents seek information on the repair. However, they are only 36% to repair or have repaired.
This difference can be explained by a restraint: the French continue to think that repair is more expensive than buying new products (53%). The ADEME, by quantifying the financial impact of the repair, allows us to quantify what we have been defending for a long time at AGORA. Repairing is often less expensive than buying for a wide range of household appliances. By extending the life of a washing machine by 5 years, a French household saves 29€ / year during the extension period, for a total saving of 145€.
The end of the speech on planned obsolescence in France?
The second obstacle for 51% of French people is programmed obsolescence. This message, conveyed by groups, which rely on individual cases to the detriment of the benefit of many, has lastingly weakened the repair sector in France. The numbers on repairs published in the study contradict this discourse that has been heard for too many years. While France has one of the lowest finished product prices in Europe, one of the highest labor costs, we are the only ones to have created a programmed obsolescence offense. The atmosphere of suspicion linked to these messages fuels a vicious cycle of purchasing products at low cost and unlikely to be repairable following an often repairable breakdown. We notice a decrease of 15% compared to 2014 in broken down devices,only 13% of those surveyed declared a breakdown in the last 2 years.
Encouraging the new repair reflex
The financial and ecological impact is demonstrated in the study. It is therefore often better to repair rather than buy, especially if the device is relatively expensive and relatively young. Indeed, the energy gains are no longer large enough to justify new and frequent purchases. It is therefore up to us to change consumption habits on the eve of the economic crisis.
Repairing not only saves, but also boosts local employment in SMEs which help stabilize the economic fabric of the regions. AGORA and STARSAV will continue to spread this positive message for our common future and will make available in the coming weeks tools that will help consumers in their choices.
*Link to the publication: www.ademe.fr/francais-reparation