The Observer: Prepare to Repair
- Posted by: Yasmin Banks
- In the Press
skinflint and our co-founder, Chris Miller, were recently included in Katie Treggiden’s feature in The Observer titled ‘Back for good: the fine art of repairing broken things.’ The article sheds light on what repair means to various creatives, and how we are all embracing this age-old tradtition from a new perspective.
Offering insight into how we source our vintage lights, Chris says: “The key driver for our business is the environment – we can’t go on the way we have for the last 100 years. The resources are just not there.” Our current product market relies on fast consumerism and doesn’t expect them to last for more than a couple of years. It is unfortunately, more often than not, cheaper to replace than repair. But along with the growing repair movement, the new “right to repair bill” that has just come into force, aims to encourage repair at home.
The bill requires manufacturers to make spare parts and maintenance information available for their products. The intention is to help educate consumers on how to ensure their product lasts for longer and suppress our throwaway culture, and skinflint couldn’t be more behind the bill.
Product Above: Oxidised Hungarian factory shades (MK2)
Katie continues: “For Chris Miller, restoration is a direct response to the climate crisis. Skinflint, the vintage lighting website he co-founded, specialises in sourcing lighting from the 1920s to the 1970s, usually from hospitals, churches or factories. The company has saved 50,000 lights from landfills, making them safe and functional and then giving them what Miller calls a ‘light touch’ restoration, maintaining the patina of their age.”
It is an honour to have been featured alongside the likes of Jay Blades, presenter of the BBC’s 'Repair Shop'; Bridget Harvey, co-organiser of Hackney Fixers, a community group modelled on the Dutch Repair Café initiative that pairs the owners of broken things with volunteers who can mend them; and Hans Tan who wants to champion the role of repair in contemporary design.