Restart: Fixing people’s relationships with electronics

Picture of Janet Gunter and Ugo Vallauri

The Restart Project is an exciting new social enterprise based in London, UK, that empowers people to repair and maintain their electronic goods. By keeping electronics in use for longer, the charity aims to help slow the avalanche of e-waste and reconnect people with electronics. Founded in 2012 by Janet Gunter and Ugo Vallauri, it holds community and workplace events across the capital, whereby people learn how to increase the lifespan of their electronic and electrical equipment.

With electronic waste now the fastest growing waste stream in the world, Restart says it wants to encourage consumers to buy for longevity, and move beyond the culture of constant upgrades and disposal. With laptops in Western countries typically being replaced every two years and mobile phones every 18 months, they have a tall order on their hands…

But their energy is infectious, and they’ve struck on something really interesting here, both in terms of bringing communities together and reconnecting people with products. In an increasingly resource-scarce world, consumers will need to get to grips with repair and maintenance, and projects like Restart are preparing the ground for this to happen.

The charity is being supported by the Transition Network, Unltd and Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, and is reaching out to groups across the world keen to replicate its work.

For more on the Restart Project, please click here.