In this day and age we seem to unfortunately live in a ‘throwaway society’ – if something breaks or falls apart our first instinct may be to throw it away and get a new one. The thought of repairing an item may seem too difficult, costly or time consuming.
But what if there was an alternative – a place where you could meet with like minded individuals and repair specialists to learn how you could repair your broken item over a cup of coffee?
Sound good? Well read on . . .
The first Repair Café was set up in 2009 in Amsterdam and following the success of this one there have been Repair Cafés popping up all over the world ever since! The idea behind Repair Cafés is to get people to change their mindset about broken items and appreciate the value of their possessions.
The Cafés themselves are free, informal meeting places where visitors can bring in their broken items from home and together with onsite specialists (such as electricians, seamstresses, carpenters and bicycle mechanics) start making the repairs. The Repair Cafes are stocked with tools and materials to help visitors make any repairs they need. You can also enjoy a cup of tea or coffee as you get stuck into your repairs!
The aim of a Repair Café is also to show people how fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.
Anything that’s broken (and which you can manage to carry on your own to the Repair Café) is welcome at a Repair Cafe and has a good chance of getting properly repaired. Examples include: electrical appliances, clothing, furniture, crockery, housewares, bicycles, toys etc.
There are currently close to 800 Repair Cafés worldwide, not bad when you consider these have only been going for six years. There are plenty to be found around Europe but they have also made their way over to the UK, USA and even Australia!
At this stage we have two Repair Cafés set up in Australia in NSW. The Marrickville, Sydney location has been operating for over a year at the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre with the second location being Mullumbimby Northern NSW at the Byron Community College. In the near future there is set to be a Repair Cafe opening up in Albury-Wodonga and hopefully we will see the craze catch on over in Oz and see many more start to appear as time goes on.
For further information on Repair Cafes visit http://repaircafe.org/