The Repair Cafe & the Fixer Movement

Sip Lattés and Fix Busted Stuff at the Repair Café

Good as new: community members with broken stuff mingle with volunteers at a Fixers Collective meeting in New York City. Photo: Vincent Lai/Fixers Collective

It says something about where we’ve come as a society that the simple act of fixing something that’s broken is considered a revolutionary act. Yet here we are. It’s cheaper and easier to buy a new toaster, lamp, printer, or chair than it is to mend the one you have when it breaks — never mind that you may already be jonesing for an upgrade.

For 80 years or so, planned obsolescence has been the dirty little engine that drives our consumer economy. Today the members of a nascent fixer movement say it’s been long enough.

In 2010 in the Netherlands, disgust with Europe’s throw-away culture led former journalist and new mom Martine Postma to stage the first Repair Café, an event where members of the community could drop by with defunct items they would otherwise have thrown away, and have them repaired free of charge by volunteer fix-it experts.

Since then, Postma’s concept has thrived. Almost 40 groups across the Netherlands have started their own Repair Cafés to date, and the Repair Café Foundation has brought in over $500,000 from the Dutch government and other sources to support its operations.

Read more at Daily Good…

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