We all know at least one handy person – the person we call when something breaks or just isn’t functioning at its best. A tinkerer. A salvager. A fixer. Maybe it’s a member of the household, maybe it’s a pro, maybe it’s a neighbour – maybe it’s you!
Since 2009, volunteers all over the world have been bringing these folks together at Repair Cafés – according to the Repair Café Foundation, there are now more than 1300 happening worldwide. With tools and materials provided and the expertise of the volunteers in attendance, participants can get advice and support to repair the broken items they bring with them to the event. It’s also a place to help direct people to the professionals and businesses that specialize in fixing specific types of issues.
Many organizations and leaders are jumping on board with Repair Cafés because they are helpful and uplifting on a lot of different axes – protecting the environment by reducing waste, strengthening community capacity and connections, and supporting local green and circular economies, among others. Read about how to host a Repair Café on the David Suzuki Foundation blog or on the Charter for Compassion blog. Repair Café International has resources and a great community if you’re interested in joining or starting a repair café of your own.
And the movement is creating momentum for policy change. Repair Café International has partnered with three other global organizations to create the Open Repair Alliance to promote more repairable products and undercut the current trend toward planned obsolescence.
The Repair Café is an important part of Fix-it Atlantic, and of our Fix-it Fair events. Education, community, and support for all of us to be our own handy folks is a perfect complement to the repair economy of professionals and entrepreneurs. We hope to see you there.