I have just discovered Repair Cafes, and I am loving the concept!
They are free meeting places and are all about repairing stuff, together.
I think the original Repair Café was started by Martine Postma in the Netherlands, and now they are springing up all over the place.
I have paraphrased from the Repair Café website to try and explain the whole thing a bit better:
“At a Repair Café there are the tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera.
And there are also repair specialists such as electricians, seamstresses, carpenters and bicycle mechanics.
Visitors bring their broken items from home. Together with the specialists they start making their repairs in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table – by leafing through books on repairs and DIY.”
Just the other day I had a conversation with a friend about the fact, that often, when something breaks, we would rather try and fix it than throw it away, but often don’t have the necessary knowledge, skills or equipment, or know how to access them.
Well Repair Cafes are working to change all that!
They are SUCH a fantastic idea-skills get shared and passed on, equipment can be shared, stuff is saved from landfill, and it saves new stuff being made, and the drain on resources that this creates.
To quote again from the Repair Café website:
“The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. The Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society.
But most of all, the Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is. Why don’t you give it a go?”
On the website there is a section for setting up your very own Repair Café, and the support that is available to help you.
And there are several other similar projects, including Remade in Edinburgh, and the Restart Project, who are in and around London, and have got this great page on their blog on How to Run a Restart Party.
How cool would it be to have a Repair Cafe or similar in every town and city?
I would love love LOVE to have one near me, and even to set one up. My stumbling block is finding the people with the relevant skills who would be happy to volunteer to pass them on. Any ideas where I might find people like this? Do you think I can put an ad in the Lonely Hearts..?!
Anyone else up for this?!