Reparatur- und Service-Zentrum

"Repair journeyman" Michel Heftrich is travelling across Europe on a full-cab bike, stopping off at more than 50 repair initiatives over a distance of 5,000 kilometres. The tour is intended to draw attention to repair and the circular economy. Climate Protection Minister Eleonore Gewessler supports the project and was present at the launch event in Vienna.

On Thursday, 23 March 2023, the launch event for the Repairs for Future Tour took place in Vienna's city centre at Stock-im-Eisen-Platz: where journeymen used to hammer a nail into a tree to symbolically begin their rolling, the journey was heralded by repairer Michel Heftrich. Among the speakers were climate protection minister Eleonore Gewessler and pioneers of the circular economy and repair movement.

The event was moderated by RepaNet Managing Director Matthias Neitsch: Re-use and repair are the most important practices to effectively reduce resource consumption - this goal is also centrally anchored in the Austrian circular economy strategy.

"In order to finally move from theory to implementation, permanent circular funding models for re-use business models, such as second-hand goods trade and repair, must now urgently be worked out at the political level and implemented quickly."

Heftrich Tour-min

Michel Heftrich, main player of the Repairs for Future Tour, has been helping various Repair Cafés with repairs for ten years and is still enthusiastic about it:

"It is not only about repairing: Repair cafés are a wonderful kind of neighbourhood help that create a meeting and integration place across generations. They are meeting places for a wide variety of people from different social classes."

The idea of the full-cab bicycle came from designer Andreas Unterweger and was born out of a search for a bicycle that was weather-protected, which did not exist until recently:

"With a few like-minded people, we invested a lot of time, energy and money to build a rideable device. It is designed in a way that any talented craftsperson can build it."

Markus Piringer from the Environmental Advisory Service emphasised the importance of consumers repairing themselves for a successful repair revolution:

"International studies show that private repairs account for around one third of all repairs. Repair Cafés make important contributions to spreading this maintenance and repair know-how among the population. As coordinator of the Repair Network Vienna, I would therefore like to thank Michel Helfrich for his commitment and wish him a successful tour!"

R.U.S.Z Managing Director Sepp Eisenriegler emphasised that every successful measure to extend the useful life of a product is an individual contribution to climate protection:

"The climate crisis is only the symptom. The underlying disease is overconsumption in the global North. (...) That's why we need few, durable, easily repairable e-appliances that spread their ecological rucksack over many years of use."

After the speeches, Heftrich's bicycle was blessed by cathedral priest Toni Faber before he rode off to his first stop, the Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z (Vienna - Penzing).

Im R.U.S.Z Wien wurde das Vollkabinenfahrrad fasziniert in Augenschein genommen und sich über die vielfältigen Reparaturkünste ausgetauscht.
Im R.U.S.Z Wien wurde das Vollkabinenfahrrad fasziniert in Augenschein genommen und sich über die vielfältigen Reparaturkünste ausgetauscht.

The tour to Repair Cafés in Europe also serves the exchange of experiences, networking and critical discourse: Repairing is an effective contribution to a system change towards a circular economy, preserves valuable raw materials and the environment. In addition, repairs relieve the burden on the wallet and avoid electronic waste.

Follow Michel Heftrich's tour across Europe on !