What is a Repair Café?

Repair Cafés are gatherings of people who can repair things and those who have things that need to be repaired. Tools, materials and guidance are provided. Repairers and those seeking repairs work together to troubleshoot and fix broken items; such as, clothing, wooden items, small appliances, bicycles, crockery, jewelry, toys, and more. It’s a learning process.

See the house rules we use at the Repair Café.

Why a Repair Café?

We throw away vast amounts of stuff which only need a simple repair. But many of us have forgotten that we can repair things, or we no longer know how.

Repair Cafés change all that! Practical knowledge is passed on. Things aren’t thrown away, which reduces the volume of materials wasted. as well as the raw materials and energy needed to make new products.

The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society.

Most of all, the Repair Café shows how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.

Who thought up the idea?

The Repair Café organization was founded by Martine Postma. Since 2007, she has been striving for sustainability at a local level in many ways. Martine organised the very first Repair Café in Amsterdam, on October 18, 2009. It was a great success.

Not competing with professional repair specialists

Wonder whether access to free repair get-togethers competes with professional repair specialists? Repair Cafés demonstrate that broken items can be repaired rather than thrown away. Typically only minor repairs can be fixed at a Café. More complex repairs  are referred to area specialists.

Check out our list of local repair resources.