Matchmaking for Furniture: Helping Broken Products Get Repaired

Brand-new 'green' products tend to get attention for a particular feature, like recycled materials or better manufacturing. But the most sustainable products are the ones that don't get thrown away in the first place. Repair can be tricky, especially if you're missing an entire part (and if it seems cheaper to run to IKEA to get a replacement). But a new site has an interesting model for helping match up broken parts.

Lonely Parts is sort of like the OKCupid of repair. Someone with a piece of a product—say, a sofa frame missing cushions—can post it on the site. Someone with cushions they no longer need will see the post, and the two can meet. Lonely Parts also runs a "Repair Cafe" where anyone interested can come borrow tools and learn some repair skills.

Right now, it's just based in Brighton in the U.K., but this is the kind of idea that would benefit any city. Let us know if you steal this idea.

Chair image via Shutterstock