Calls For Papers

Everyday Repair, Creative Upcycling, Quick Fix in East and South-East Asia

In recent years, a significant body of research has focused on the sociology of repair (Henke, 2000; Martinez, 2017; Jackson, 2019) and, more recently, the concept of upcycling (Sung, 2015; Wegener, 2016) predominantly in the Global North. Research in this field has highlighted the shift towards alternative consumption models, emphasising circular economies (Bakker et al., 2014), the inception of repair cafés (Keiller and Charter, 2014; Graziano and Trogal, 2017), domestic repair activities (Dewberry et al., 2016; Hielscher and Jaeger-Erben, 2021), and expedient repair solutions (Sterner et al., 2006; Aitchison, 2021). Furthermore, there has also been extensive research on green and sustainability practices and particularly some scholars have focused on everyday practices as a site by which to understand human action (see Gäbler, 2015). Despite these contributions, there remains a paucity of research concerning these themes beyond the global north. The need to comprehend how green and sustainable practices are perceived and implemented in other localities has been underscored by scholars such as Vercoe and Brinkman (2012), Nagendra et al. (2018), Lewis (2017) Lou (2019).

Inspired by the work of scholar-artist William Aitchison, whose artistic endeavours and scholarship on 'Quick Fix' in China (Aitchison, 2021) illuminate the ingenuity and resourcefulness required to navigate unpredictable circumstances, often necessitating spur-of-the-moment problem-solving and resourcefulness (Aitchison, 2021: 63), this Special Issue calls for papers examining repair, expedient solutions, repair cafés, upcycling, and the circular repair economy in East Asia and South-East Asia. We invite scholars to contribute their perspectives on:

The conceptualisation of 'Quick Fix'

Theories and practices of repair

Innovations in upcycling

Immediate repair interventions

Creative recycling methods

Green and sustainable methodologies

Upcycling's role in contemporary fashion

The dynamics of repair and 'Quick Fix' cafés

Daily repair practices and solutions

Emerging repair-centric communities and social initiatives

The role of repair and upcycling post-consumerism

Self-sufficient communities

The intersection of anarchism with repair and 'Quick Fix' methods

The ethos of Freeganism and Freecycling

Human agency in the context of repair, 'Quick Fix', and upcycling


We welcome abstracts of up to 200 words by January 2024. Full manuscripts should be submitted to the editors by the 1st of April 2024 (negotiable, please email the special issue editors). Articles should not exceed 8,000 words, including references and notes.

Worldwide Waste is an Open Access journal funded through Subscribe to Open (S2O) in 2024. Articles accepted by 31st December 2024 are not subject to APCs. Extension of the S2O model into future years is not yet confirmed, so it is possible that APCs may apply to papers accepted in 2025 and beyond. We will confirm the plan (and update this text) a soon as possible.

This issue will be edited by Dr. Andrew M. Law (Senior Lecturer in Town Planning, Newcastle University) and Dr. Loretta Lou (Assistant Professor in Anthropology, Durham University), who also co-edits 'Worldwide Waste: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies'.

Posted 11th December 2023