REPAIR Cafes are popping up all over Europe and the United States. These are weekend get-togethers where people can bring their broken items, such as computers, sewing machines, clothes, toys and even furniture, to have it fixed by local experts. Visitors can even find repair tools and DIY manuals if they want to try their hand at fixing their own broken items. They can also enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and help each other with a repair job.
The idea of a repair cafe started out in Amsterdam by Martine Postma in 2009 when she wanted to create more sustainable options at the local level. In 2011, she started the Repair Cafe Foundation which helps local groups start their own repair cafes in their towns. Items that last longer don’t become unnecessary waste from ending up in the landfill. Our current throwaway culture is hardwiring us to get rid of our “fixable” items and buy new ones, which also creates larger carbon emissions compared to repairing.
Our current mode of consumption causes us to buy items cheap and replace them easily when they get broken. Sometimes, we fail to realize that it takes only a little effort to have them repaired and usable again. However, there are also items that we can’t fix by ourselves. Some gadgets, like Kindle and Apple products, are sealed and prevent us from being able to fix it on our own. Hence, these repair cafes with “fixperts” who can help you fix your gadgets. By being able to repair and learning how to repair broken items, people can reduce their waste as well as gain a better sense of ownership of their belongings. So, next time you see a broken item at home, you might want to try to have it repaired first before throwing it out.