Repair Cafes in The Netherlands

Posted on May 13, 2012  Comments (3)

Repair Cafes in The Netherlands Give Life Back to Broken Objects

A new brand of DIY self-sufficiency is spreading across The Netherlands. Skilled craftswomen, mechanics, seamstresses, and handypersons are banding together to resist disposable consumer culture. It is the rise of the Repair Cafe, a place where neighbors get together to extend the life of their material belongings. “Fixers” mend clothes, restore furniture, rehabilitate electrical appliances, and enjoy each other’s company while industriously toiling away. The first cafe was founded by Martine Postma in Amsterdam in October of 2009. Today, there are 20 fully operational Repair Cafes, and 50 more in the planning stages.

I really like these efforts. We throw away too much stuff that has plenty of useful life left. Also it is a great way to build community. And it is an interesting way to learn about products we use everyday (both by fixing them and having your items fixed). The throw away culture is something we should aim to change. By these actions and also by engineers designing products to be fixed instead of thrown away. I donated to a similar fixer collective in Brooklyn via Kickstarter.

Related: Fix it GooBook Explores Adventures in MakingTeaching Through Tinkering

3 Responses to “Repair Cafes in The Netherlands”

  1. Denise Gabbard
    May 14th, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    Nice! This is the kind of thing we should all embrace. Not only are they helping the planet by fixing something that would otherwise end up in a landfill, but they are helping each other, both by fixing things and teaching others…what could be better than this? Thanks for sharing this…exciting idea!

  2. dearl mcpeak
    June 6th, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    As a youngster one of the ways I found about the world was tinkering. Taking apart and attempting to fix things were very entertaining and knowledgable.

  3. Erica Williams
    August 24th, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    Indeed throw away culture itself should be thrown not only for cafes but everyone should adapt it for the daily life and surel there are many things which could be repaired/recycled to be used for the same or other purpose.

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