pop-up repair cafe
How might we encourage people to repair before discarding their objects?
Electrical and electronic products are increasingly hard to repair, not up-grade-able and often unsupported by manufacturers beyond their warranty period. As we produce more and more of these
items, global levels of electronic waste are escalating beyond our control, causing huge amounts of environmental degradation and posing serious health risks to communities around the world. Governments
are beginning to notice the global urgency of this topic.
The ‘Right to Repair’ campaigns in the United States pushed for manufacturers to be legally obliged to release manuals to the general public, and recently the European Parliament voted to make consumer products more durable and easier to repair.
It is more accessible than a dedicated shared space, and people can track its location and can reach at their own convenience.
Collaborations with Companies like Home Depot and Mc Master, who believe in supporting such endeavors, can help with the equipment and the association called open repair alliance which takes the initiative to conduct repair workshops, can support by providing volunteers and experts.
However, the voice of concerned citizens and their discontent with the status quo are rarely part of these conversations. As organisations coordinating community repair events, we accumulate vast amounts of information from first-hand experience about recurrent faults and the challenges we face in repairing them. With the weight of evidence behind us, we can make our voices heard.
Each item in the database represents a citizen who took hours out of their life to learn what went wrong with their device, and to learn how to fix it. This makes our data more powerful than any petition or online complaint.
Changing the way we make, support and repair products is a task that requires more than what any one organisation can do alone. By compiling insights from thousands of community repair events worldwide, we can build a case for more durable and repairable products that will be hard for manufacturers, designers and policy-makers to ignore. Our expertise to create value through repair and reuse and generating stories around it, gives us the opportunity to make this happen and our vision is to make it permanent, provide other emerging communities to create their own repair cafes and be an active advocate of the importance of repair.
Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for the people who still have this practical knowledge, and against their will they are often left standing on the sidelines.
The Repair Café changes all that! People who might otherwise be sidelined are getting involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is getting passed on. Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away.
This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions, for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released.
The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. The Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society. But most of all, the Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.