Martine Postma, of the Netherlands, looked around her and knew the earth was in big trouble. Our carbon footprint was getting larger and larger as we were caught in a cycle of consumption, use and discarding virtually everything. She was determined to break that cycle by encouraging friends and strangers to repair what they had bought, rather than discarding them. With that decision, the Repair Café was born.
The first Repair Café was held in Amsterdam, in 2009. Since then it has spread worldwide and has become a social movement. From the simple idea of repairing what we buy, something else has sprung, the idea of creating community. The experience of the Repair Café movement has shown that people bring in their goods to be repaired, and then make connections with their neighbors who are doing likewise. The volunteers who repair the clothing, electronics, jewelry and appliances are encouraged to pass on their skills with the people getting repairs. From such interactions, friendships grow and a community is created and/or reinforced.
Idea Exchange supports the ideals of the Repair Café and has started its own version. Check back here for upcoming dates. If you have an item of clothing, electronic device, small appliance or piece of jewelry, that needs repairing, you can bring it in and our expert volunteers will have a crack at helping you repair it.