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What is Built-In Obsolescence?

Built-in obsolescence, or planned obsolescence, is where products are deliberately designed to fail prematurely or are deliberately made difficult or uneconomical to repair. Many electronic devices are made difficult to open up and internal batteries and other parts are made difficult to replace without special tools. Some products do not have spare parts made easily or cheaply available.

So what can we do about this? Encourage manufacturers to make their products more repairable. Publish repair guides for fixing products. Make spare parts more easily available. Promote ‘repair culture’ where people repair products rather than throw them away and buy new ones. All of these can make a difference both to the environment and to your wallet, so it sounds like common sense to us.

Happy repairing!


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