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Bassoons: repair and re-use for a sustainable world

March 12th, 2021

Bassoons: repair and re-use for a sustainable world

Bassoons: repair and re-use for a sustainable world

Each year, manufacturing has an enormous impact on our planet – it is one of the world’s biggest contributors to environmental damage.

The lifecycle of a product – from extracting the raw materials to disposing of the product at the end of its life – is increasingly associated with pollution, damage to ecosystems, greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, landfill waste, and the depletion of natural resources.

The message we are getting from modern science, is that the throw away culture many countries have become accustomed to, is unsustainable. 

As musicians, we are in a privileged position – our instruments are treasured; we take care of them, and many of them last for decades. But, despite their long life, all musical instruments come to a point where we need to decide – is this instrument at the end of its life, and if so, what should I do with it?

For many products, the choice is simple – is it recyclable, or does it go to landfill?

Musical instruments are more likely to languish in a cupboard for years before it comes to this decision, but eventually the choice is just the same.

The problem is, the more products we throw away, the more products we need to manufacture to replace them – more manufacturing means more environmental damage. 

Repair and re-use:

By far the most sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to throwing products away, is to repair and re-use them, or refurbish them and sell them on to be enjoyed by somebody else. The more we do this, the more we break the manufacturing cycle.

The bassoonists contribution:

The bassoon is remarkable, because it is almost infinitely repairable – aside from a catastrophic accident, like being run over by a bus, almost every conceivable problem that can occur with a bassoon can be fixed to a high standard.

At Double Reed Ltd. repair and restoration is the cornerstone of our business. We overhaul, repair and refurbish bassoons for customers, so that they can continue to play on their cherished instruments for many more years. 

We are also dedicated to offering the highest quality secondhand instruments possible, thereby minimising the need for bassoonists to buy newly manufactured bassoons.

Bassoons have progressed in design very little over the years and a well-made 30, 50 or 80 year old bassoon, with appropriate keywork up-grades where necessary, can rival modern bassoons in tone, projection, intonation and all other relevant criteria.

By coming to Double Reed Ltd. for refurbishment of your bassoon, or buying a restored bassoon from us, you ensure that:

  • No new trees need to be felled
  • Old bassoons don’t go to landfill
  • Little or no new keywork needs to be manufactured
  • Use of energy intensive machinery is reduced – most tasks are carried out using hand tools

The environmental impact that repairing a bassoon has, compared to manufacturing one, is close to zero.

In addition, we commit ourselves to operating sustainably by:

  • Running our workshops on 100% carbon offset gas tariffs
  • Running our workshops on 100% renewable electricity tariffs
  • Operating from a location within walking distance of rail and bus stations, minimising car use for visitors and staff - in fact more than half our staff walk to work every day
  • Producing very little waste, and recycling what we do produce wherever possible
  • Using environmentally friendly products for cleaning and refurbishment wherever possible
  • Using paperless invoicing and accounting systems to minimise paper usage

Refurbishing your musical instrument, or buying a secondhand one, is by far the most sustainable option for musicians.

Take a look at our range of refurbished bassoons here, and contact us for more information on any of them – we will be happy to help.

Article Author: Oliver Ludlow, Director and In-House-Bassoon Specialist at Double Reed Ltd.