Help us get a product repairability label

Unrepairable products cost you and the planet.

Sign the petition

Sick of wasting money on products you can’t repair? 

Here’s an idea: let’s put the pressure back on manufacturers to do better. In New Zealand, millions of appliances are needlessly being dumped because they can't be repaired.  

Show them you want products you can repair, and help us demand a mandatory repairability label. 

Sign the petition

Unrepairable products cost you and the planet, and we are the only country in the OECD without e-waste regulations. 

That's why we're calling for a product repairability label. If we can shop based on how long products will last and how repairable they are, manufacturers and retailers will be forced to lift their game.   

Sign the petition to tell the government we need a repairability label. 

So, what exactly is a repairability label? 

Just like energy star ratings tell you how efficient a product is to use, a repairability label tells you how easy a product is to repair before you buy it. 

The label gives products a score based on: 

  • Whether repair documentation is available to independent repairers and/or consumers 
  • How easy it is to disassemble the product 
  • Availability of spare parts 
  • Price of spare parts 
  • Any other criteria specific to the product type. 

We wouldn't be the first in the world to roll this out - the French have already successfully rolled out a similar repairability label.  

Why do we need one?

Each year we throw out approximately 97,000 tonnes of unwanted or broken electrical waste – one of the highest per capita amounts on the planet. And there are no repairability rules or regulations to stop faulty products heading to landfill.  

Easy-to-repair products are going straight to landfill

When we tracked the journey of faulty appliances that we returned to stores, we found many of them went straight to the tip. For many companies, it’s more profitable to sell cheaply made products that can be replaced, rather than repaired. 

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Information about repairability is hard to find

Our recent mystery shop found it's difficult for consumers to get information about repairability from retailers. 

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Device repairability is expensive or non-existent

Some manufacturers are restricting spare parts and instruction manuals, claiming this practice reduces 'poor-quality' repairs.  

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Products aren't built to last

By law, a product should last a ‘reasonable’ amount of time, but many products are falling short of this. For example, at Consumer we’d expect a cordless vacuum to last 5 years, but our research found they work for 2.2 years on average. A corded vacuum should last for 8 years, but consumers have told us they last 4.8 years on average. 

How do we fix it?

Our system is broken. So how do we stop appliances heading to landfill? Our product test manager, Paul Smith, investigates the solutions. 

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We've changed the way we test

With our new lifetime scoring, we only recommend products that last. We still test products' performance, but we’re now including measures of reliability, owner satisfaction and repairability. This is a small step, which is why we want durability labelling for all New Zealanders, to make informed purchasing decisions.  

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Consume This podcast

What do retailers do with nearly new, but faulty, small appliances? We used GPS trackers to follow faulty goods to their final destinations. Listen to our podcast to see where they end up.