The Fixer's Manifesto: if it's broken, fix it!

Jane from Sugru sez, "We've been working on The Fixer's Manifesto. for ages, and we're pumped about it!"

Fixing is the unsung hero of creativity. And it really shouldn't be. It's the most common, humble and beautiful form of creativity there is. Let's wear that belief proudly. Let's notice and celebrate these little everyday triumphs, and help others see their value whenever we can. We made this to fuel the conversation about why a culture of fixing is so important.

If you like it - fix it, evolve it, improve it.

We spent ages on it, arguing over what was important and what wasn't - crafting, editing and tweaking. But fixing is something people feel strongly about, so we're pretty sure you won't agree with all of it, and you'll want to fix it. So this is version 1. There are plain text (Markdown), EPS, and PDF copies on GitHub, where you can contribute improvements, fork the manifesto, or make stuff with it. If you're not into Github, you can download a PDF for free, and we made beautiful letterpress prints. Each one ships with a pink pen for editing.

The Fixer's Manifesto - the future needs fixing - sugru (Thanks, Jane!)


  1. “If we double the life of our stuff, we halve what goes to landfill.”  Apparently fixers aren’t so good at logic and mathematics. 

      1. Case 1: I buy a monitor once per (say) two years (when the capacitors fail). In 10 years I buy (and throw out) 5 screens.

        Case 2: I replace the capacitors (preventively, or after failure) and prolong the screen’s useful life to (say) 5 years (and it can be more).

        The difference is three screens that didn’t have to be made, bought, and thrown away.

        1. Assuming this was a response to me… Changing from 2 to 5 isn’t “doubling the life of” a screen. Simply doubling it means 4 years, and thus 2 computer screens are used, and you’re halfway through another. Meaning you used half what you used before (and thus have half the stuff that previously went to landfill).

          So, I think the explanation as to why that math and logic is poor might be something else. Because that double/halve seems to work?

    1. My first thought too.  Reminds me of the person who tried to convince me that dams permanently reduce the flow of rivers.

    2. Or economics…
      Making do = smaller economy = fewer jobs for people who invent things. 
      Now if the manifesto was concerned with inventive ways of reducing the size of landfill, then we’d be onto something. Reducing the rate at which junk accumulates doesn’t “fix” anything.

      1. “Reducing the rate at which junk accumulates doesn’t “fix” anything.”

        I think most people would say that that would actually go a long way towards fixing everything.

        1. So if a pipe bursts in your house and is spewing effluent, you’d be happy if a plumber came around and merely reduced the rate at which it was coming out? That would be a “fix” in your book?

          1. Especially if he reduced it to zero.

            My point was more about fixing a washing machine, toy or some other product to avoid buying  new and throwing the old one out – not the relocation of things we already consider waste.

  2. Oh dear.  Entire civilizations have crumbled to dust because someone saw something that wasn’t broken and decided a simple, clever tweak was just what it needed. In fact, that seems to run directly contrary to “resisting needless upgrades”.

    1.  A simple, clever tweak that brings an entire civilization sounds like it would be outside of the bounds of their chosen word, “improve.”

    1. Don’t bag Shimano for developing bike tech; they deserve a great deal of credit for most of the incremental improvements in bikes over the last three decades or so.

      If you don’t want a fancy bike, get a simple one.

      But don’t imagine you speak for everyone when you say you don’t want aerospace grade hardware.

  3. I bought some sugru because I came across it at a local store (same price as online, but no shipping cost) and have been wanting to try it out. 

    The problem is that if you buy things along the lines of this manifesto – which I do as a matter of course because it just makes sense – you buy stuff that doesn’t need improvement or repair very much (if at all). Since I bought the sugru a couple months ago, nothing I use has broken (at least, not in a way that sugru can help) and nothing really needs improvement.

    I have a few ideas of things to do with it, but I feel like I’d get a lot more use out of it if I didn’t buy things along the lines of this manifesto. Back in college when I cheaped out on most things, I would have been able to find a lot of use for the stuff. Nowadays, not so much.

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