Repair to consume less: this is the idea behind Repair Cafés. These coffee shops are popping up everywhere. The aim for the customers is to learn how to repair their electronics and various goods rather than discard the old ones and buy new gadgets.
When an object no longer works, Westeners usually throw it away and buy a new one. However, a simple repair can often give these objects a second life. It is in this context that the journalist Martine Postma, a native of the Netherlands, launched the first Repair Café in 2009. Interested in sustainable development, she had the idea to create a place to repair any type of object.
The aim was to reduce the consumption of raw materials and the energy needed to manufacture new products. It was also a way of changing the mentality of people and encouraging a sustainable society.
The Repair Cafés offer the possibility to repair all kinds of consumables. In fact, thanks to some donations, plenty of equipment and tools are available on site. In addition, professional and amateur electricians and designers volunteer to help many people who come to Repair Cafés. Clothes, furniture, toys, appliances, etc. everything is eligible for a new life.
Despite the fact that some of the founders regret that a few people come to these cafes only to get free replacements (perhaps inevitably), the majority of customers have accepted the ethos of the Repair Cafés and challenge themselves to learn how to fix things together and in a sustainable manner.
Since their first inception in 2009, Repair Cafés have grown exponentially and are opening in many cities. Here people in addition to convenience and new skills have the chance to meet new people in a positive convivial ground.
Want to find the nearest Repair Café? Check the international Repair Café website
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