14 Feb 2012

Repair cafe

Repair Cafe, a neighborhood meeting place where they repair broken stuff for free, is a success in the Netherlands. In one year, the number of bars increased from 1 to 25. Due to the economic crisis the project against the throwaway culture is blooming.

What do you do with a broken toaster, printer, CD player or woolen sweater? In most western countries, the solution is simple: throw it away and buy a new one. In other parts of the world (Latin America, Africa and Asia) are repair shops where things can get a second life. In a country like the Netherlands, they are almost impossible to find and if you find one it appears that the costs are often higher than the price of a new one.

The first Repair Cafe started in 2009 in Amsterdam. Set up as a meeting in a community center where people can bring their broken stuff and meet volunteers who like to fix them. That brings only benefits: You have a nice afternoon, preserve repair knowledge while teaching a new generation how to do it and have your product fixed.
Read article (Dutch)

UPDATE: Read article in NY Times 8 May here and the Sydney Morning Herald 10 May here

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