Between the release of the iPhone 5, which is reviving the debate on universal chargers, and the recurring questions about the amount of waste generated by our consumer society, we hear a lot about programmed obsolescence these days.
Until manufacturers really take the measure of their responsibility and stop limiting the useful life of products in order to increase the replacement rate, the web is full of nuggets that help prolong the life of objects. Among them are Sugru, a silicone-based paste that can repair almost anything.
Something to "fix" the future
Jane ní Dhulchaointigh had the idea in 2003: the young Irish eco-designer was tired of buying new things. What she wants is to hack into what she owns to adapt its use to her needs. Her job and her passion for sculpture allowing her to have fun with the materials, she initially invents a composition based on sawdust, dust and silicone. "It was very ugly," she admits, but this allowed her to repair everything in the house.
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The first version of Sugru
With her degree in her pocket, she decided to devote herself to improving her find: to do so, she needed six years of research and no less than 6,000 attempts made hand in hand with retired silicone engineers. But the game (of which the Gaelic term "sugru" is a derivative) is worth the candle: the component obtained (Formalin) is a miracle, it can be used on all types of surfaces, hardens at room temperature and becomes ultra-resistant (it can be machine-processed and is not afraid of heat). In my entourage, some people talk about "queen of glues" when others think that we are there "halfway between the patafix, the fimo paste and the plumber's kit".
On the web, many fans ("gurus") share their applications. My friend Shabnam, thanks to whom I discovered the product, convinced me by showing me her computer and mobile phone cables, which are solidly and efficiently repaired with this paste. "I'm a fan because I can finally strengthen, divert and repair things programmed for obsolescence at will," she says.
Sugru has received several awards, including Time Magazine's 2010 Best Invention of the Year award. The following short video shows you how to apply this repair paste and will give you some ideas for further applications:
To order some, you have to go to the Sugru website. Count 12£ (about 15 euros) for eight bags to be used within six months. And I might as well tell you: at home, there will soon be some everywhere (a coat hook to be repaired in the bathroom, a baby chair whose fastener broke a little while ago, a babycook whose handle doesn't fit well...).
To learn how to repair properly
Among the other nuggets on the web that are useful to preserve oneself from programmed obsolescence, I also wanted to point out the existence of the CommentReparer.com site, which has become an indispensable resource for learning how not to throw away as soon as it's broken.
Conceived as a "forum for the Question and Answer system and a Wikipedia for the knowledge base that grows richer and richer as time goes by and is structured according to the most useful subcategories, it is close to the DIY forums for its theme but open to neophytes by the principle of mutual help" explains its creator, Damien Ravé.
To be consulted without moderation, in fact. Without forgetting all the sites which today make it possible to rent, barter, borrow at will...
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About the Blog Not even bad!
Not even bad is not a punching bag, but a space for exploration and discussion of the alternatives available to us to live differently and adapt to crises. The problems are complex, but above all don't panic: many solutions exist and this blog is here to exchange on the good (and bad!) plans for tomorrow.