Five years ago there was one Repair Café in Amsterdam. Now there are 750, spread across eighteen countries, with the latest additions in Chile and Japan. Together, the volunteers of all these Repair Cafés repair more than 13,000 products each month!
Repair Cafés are free meeting places where you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You will also find repair specialists such as electricians, seamstresses, carpenters and bicycle mechanics.
The number of Repair Cafés is still growing. The last countries to be added to the Repair Café world map were Chile and Japan. And if it’s up to the initiator in Egypt, repairs will be taking place in the name of Repair Café in nineteen countries.
With the increase of Repair Cafés, the number of volunteers making repairs and the number of visitors are also growing. If the volunteers at one Repair Café, repair eighteen products a month, then the Repair Cafés all over the world will be stopping 13,500 products landing on the rubbish heap each month.
That, of course, is great, but many products are not actually made for repair. The Repair Café Foundation wants this to change. That is why the foundation is committed to attaining sustainable and repairable goods at a European level. Recently, at a conference in Brussels, Repair Café creator Martine Postma spoke about the measures that need to be taken.
National Repair Café Day
On 30 May, the annual National Repair Café Day was held in the Netherlands. More than a hundred Repair Café volunteers got together to share their experiences and to inspire one another.
Topics included the reparability of goods, the possibilities of 3D printing, the do’s and don’ts of a safe working environment and the organising of Repair Cafés for and with weaker groups.
During the national day, volunteers also shared success stories. One man just listened.When he was asked if he also had something he wanted to share about the Repair Café, he said:
“It’s difficult to name a single thing. Everything runs smoothly at our Café.”