What is a Repair Café?

How to find a Repair Café in your neighbourhood?

Worldwide, there are more than 2200 community groups who run repair events and this number is growing every day. Many of these groups are Repair Cafés, which can be found on the map of Repair Café International. For the UK the website of The Restart Project gives an overview of community repair events like Repair Cafés and Restart Parties.

Is your local Repair Café not open at a time that suits you? Some Repair Cafés help local residents with broken things in between Repair Café meetings. They do so via the online platform Repair Connects. Check here if the Repair Café in your neighbourhood uses Repair Connects.

Is a Repair Café free?

Yes, it is. You do not have to pay anything for the repairs, the help or advice from the volunteers. 

If spare parts are needed for your repair, you do have to pay for them.

Many Repair Cafés place a pot for free contributions at the reception desk. The Repair Café uses these contributions to cover costs such as room hire, insurance or the purchase of tools and spare parts. A free contribution is always a nice boost for the Repair Café, but certainly not compulsory.

What if spare parts are needed for your repair?

Sometimes spare parts are needed for your repair. Do you know in advance which part you need? Then bring it along to the Repair Café. Read more about how to find the right spare parts here.

Don't know if you need spare parts for your repair? Then the repairer who helps you can usually tell you which part you need and where you can buy it. You can then agree to bring that part to the next event. Some Repair Cafés also have a limited supply of spare parts that you can buy.

Why Repair Cafés?

We still throw away too much. So many things end up in the bin when we could give them a second life with a simple repair. This is because many of us don’t know how to fix things ourselves and many of the products we buy weren’t designed to be repaired. That's what the Repair Cafés are trying to change. The Repair Café volunteers not only teach you how to repair broken things, but also how fun and easy it often is.

By repairing more, we reduce the mountain of waste and have to buy less new stuff. That's not just good for our wallets. It also ensures that less energy and fewer raw materials are used to make new products. And it reduces CO2 emissions, because making new products and recycling old ones releases CO2.

Source of this information

The information in this article is based on information from Repair Café International Foundation, Repair&Share and Repair Together. For the original articles check
Stichting Repair Café International, Repair&Share and Repair Together.