With the rise of the Right to Repair movement, it seems that there is a growing positive motion towards a more sustainable future globally. Recently, both the EU and UK have passed laws which directly support the Right to Repair movement, and the movement is continuing to expand. So now many of us are probably asking ourselves - “what can I do to support the movement myself?”. One great way to get involved is through actively using Repair Cafes.
On set dates, people will meet in a chosen location where they will have the opportunity to use tools and get help from expert volunteers to repair their objects free of charge. Essentially, Repair Cafes are workshops designed for the repair of objects. There are now over 1500 Repair Cafes worldwide; take a look yourself!
(Author: Hadiyyah Kuma, Source: https://thestrand.ca/the-benefits-of-repair-cafes/)
Who? - Maritime Postma initiated the Repair Cafe movement. She is a local politician, journalist, entrepreneur and citizen.
When and where? - The concept was thought of in 2007, and the first Repair Cafe was established in October 2009 in Amsterdam West. In March 2010, Maritime Postma founded the Repair Cafe Foundation.
Why? - The focus was always to decrease the waste produced by society. Their goals are to:
a) reintroduce the art of repairing to the modern, local communities;
b) retain and spread repair knowledge and skills;
c) promote social cohesion by bringing together neighbours from very different backgrounds and motives in a setting of inspiring and accessible meetings.
(Author: Dorothea Kessler, Source: https://www.ifixit.com/News/33384/the-woman-behind-the-repair-cafe-movement)
Repair Cafes hope to improve waste reduction, preserve art, share knowledge and help those in financially difficult times. Even when we recycle our objects, CO2 is being released and is damaging the planet. Repair Cafes give us the opportunity to make our products more sustainable, reducing the need to manufacture new products or recycle old products.
If you want to make a difference in helping to achieve the goals set by the Repair Cafe Foundation, then get yourself to a Repair Cafe! If you have no objects to repair, then you can even just observe or lend a hand. Attending a Repair Cafe has the potential to change your mindset by making you realise it is easy and actually enjoyable to repair your objects. You can even establish one yourself! If more people can think this way, then it would lead the world towards a more sustainable society!
(COVID-19 is affecting the operation of Repair Cafes as they are not allowed to open. However, we can still attempt to repair our objects at home and with the use of the internet as your aid).