Sweden wants to give your money back for fixing and repairing your things
It is always cheaper to mend that rip and repair that faulty zipper than buying a new coat. With the increasing fashion waste in landfills, Sweden is hoping to change this with plans to grant tax breaks for fashion goods. Repairs for footwear, clothes, leather goods, household textiles and bicycles will receive tax breaks, giving people a financial incentive to consume less and make do with what they have.
The country’s ruling Social Democrat and Green party coalition has proposed tax breaks and suggested dropping, from 25 percent to 12 percent, the value-added tax on getting these items fixed. A second proposal will allow Swedes to claim back on their income tax up to half the labor costs of fixing appliances such as washing machines, fridges, dishwashers, and stoves.
“We believe that this could substantially lower the cost and so make it more rational economic behavior to repair your goods,” Per Bolund, Sweden’s minister for financial markets and consumer affairs, and one of six Green party cabinet members, told the Guardian.
The idea, Bolund said, isn’t necessarily about consuming less but consuming better.
“I believe there is a shift in view in Sweden at the moment,” Bolund said. “There is an increased knowledge that we need to make our things last longer in order to reduce materials’ consumption.”
If greenlit, the proposals will become law from January 1 next year.