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Hear, hear! Repeat turns electronics industry on its head with high-end, sustainable and modular headphones

In partnership with Repeat

The modular, durable Repeat headphones are made to last your lifetime, with top-quality sound and comfort.

The modular, durable Repeat headphones are made to last your lifetime, with top quality sound and comfort.

Sustainable future of electronics

Worldwide, we produce over 53 million tonnes of e-waste, waste from electronic devices, every year. That’s because our toothbrushes, toasters, smartphones and headphones break down at some point and are rarely repairable. Often it is just one broken part: a battery, motor or screen, but still the whole device goes out the door. Tom Leenders and Dorus Galama, founders of Repeat, present a counterexample. They developed high-end, durable headphones with simple and affordable self-repair service. Repeat is pioneering and reshaping the electronics industry.

For love of music, in harmony with the planet

Tom Leenders & Dorus Galama studied Industrial Design at Delft University of Technology. They share a passion for music and both play in a band. As musicians, they used headphones daily, often for hours at a time, but on the road one would still sometimes break. They sometimes threw away as many as three devices a year because such headphones are often beyond repair. This could and should be changed, they thought. In 2019, they founded Gerrard Street, their start-up with rentable headphones. The name has changed and the headphones are now for sale as well as for rent, but the mission remains the same: smart design, high-end headphones and away from the ‘disposable culture’.

Indeed, disposable culture is a big problem. Consumers always want the latest of the latest – read about that in this BrightVibes article on consumerism – and throw away their electronics at the slightest malfunction. But just as a better environment does not just start with yourself, this problem is caused by industry. “Designed for a one-way landfill,” Repeat writes about electronic products on its website: “They are designed to be as small and compact as possible and taking them apart is sometimes even made impossible by the manufacturer.” Instead, Repeat’s headphones are designed to be easy to take apart and a faulty part can be replaced one on one.

Discarding electronics is – apart from being a shame – the cause of the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. This adds up to $62 billion worth of waste, while only 15-20% of all e-waste is recycled. A lot of still usable parts and precious materials are lost. And this also happens in countries that are not responsible for the waste. While it is illegal to ship electronics waste, discarded – but working – devices are allowed on the boat. If, in the Asian or African country of arrival, it turns out that the product does not work, there is often no solution other than dumping, burying or burning. Thus, we saddle others with our waste and additional environmental and health damage.

Top sound quality and comfort

To end on a positive note, we’re delighted to showcase the benefits that Repeat brings to the market. As music lovers and musicians, they provide the best sound quality and, now that headphones are not only functional but also a lifestyle product, also a great look. The eye wants its share too, right ;). Three models are available: two wireless and one wired. With the most expensive model, the Prince, you can listen to music wirelessly for 40 hours and connect your headphones to a TV. All models are offered for rent, with a subscription, as well as for sale.

Simple and affordable self-repair service

When you buy their headphones, you can choose whether to sign up for a repair service, which comes in two flavours. You can choose unlimited repairs per year or unlimited repairs forever, where you pay a larger amount once and are guaranteed repair service for the rest of your life.

As a customer, you are partially responsible for the repair service. This is because Repeat’s headphones are modular, meaning you can replace individual parts. If, for example, a button or ear cushion is broken, you order it in your account and it will be delivered to your doorstep no later than two days later. You can then replace the part yourself and return the broken part to Repeat so they can repair and reuse it there. This way, nothing is thrown away and producer and consumer work towards a more sustainable industry and economy.

Bovendien zijn ‘modulair’ en ‘self-repair’ de kernwoorden van de Right to Repair-beweging. Moreover, ‘modular’ and ‘self-repair’ are the watchwords of the Right to Repair movement. This movement brings together consumers, activists and producers who demand the same thing: the right to repair. The movement demands European legislation that establishes that products are designed to be repairable; that consumers have access to spare parts and fair repair; and that they are informed about repair when purchasing a product. Repeat supports the Right to Repair together with companies like the Dutch company Fairphone, which has launched the most honest smartphone on the market. These companies are changing and making the electronics industry sustainable from within. Hear, hear!

Make an Impact

Need new headphones? Then buy a Repeat.

In 16 years, the number of discarded appliances will have doubled. Most of it is dumped or burned... This has to change. Why shouldn't products last a decade? Better yet; a lifetime? Our headphones can do just that. Insane sound with deep bass in a revolutionary design. Everything 100% modular, with spare parts always readily available.

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