We throw away vast numbers of things – many with almost nothing wrong, which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. But most of us have forgotten we can repair things or no longer know how. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for those who still have this practical knowledge,m and their experience is never used, or hardly ever.
Repair Cafe, founded in Amsterdam by Martine Postma, aims to change all that with events where you’ll find tools, materials and expert volunteers, to fix a wide variety of consumer items.
Back in Aotearoa, the hub’s own Ellen Shindler launched the first repair cafe in our area, to follow up some similar events around the city.
Our recent Repair Cafe, was wildly popular, with a big queue of people lining up to get help fixing everything from cameras to tools, knives, bikes, computers, and even their CV’s. All in all at least thirty-five items were fixed, and one shredder caught fire. Can’t win ‘em all I guess.
A Media Event
Repair cafes have definitely been seizing the public's imagination. And if anything is going to give substance to kiwi’s self mythologizing about fixing stuff with number eight wire, it’s kiwis new and old, from near and far getting together to solve problems… even those as low key as a broken toaster.
Our event was covered by a SevenSharp, whose reporter came away with her camera flash fixed by Xing and Vince.
Even people who didn’t have anything broke, got fixed up with some cute comestibles made with love by young and old. Repair Cafe’s are as much about helping the community get together, as anything else.
If anything was missed in the media coverage, it's how community hubs play an essential, central role enabling repair cafe events. This event was initiated, promoted, organised and hosted by the hub and it’s members and networked collaborators.
So if there's one thing that clearly isn't broken, it's our community's spirit.
We’re going to count this event as an unqualified success, and it certainly won't be our last. Sign up to get news of hub events (or become a member) and participate in our next repair cafe, later this year.