Western society revolves round consumption. We increasingly buy more things and throw away more than ever. We use the luxury items we own for shorter times. As soon as these items show the slightest defects – such as a stool with a wobbly leg, a CD player with a lid that won’t open or a woollen jumper with a hole in the elbow – we throw them away and buy a new product. Many things get thrown away within the space of one year. Very few people even think about the possibility of repairing the old product.Most people no longer know how to repair things.
This type of knowledge is noticeably on the decline. People still in possession of this practical know-how (such as craftspeople, the elderly and non-skilled workers) are often not adequately appreciated by society and even find themselves standing on the sidelines against their will. Their know-how is never used, or hardly ever. Yet it is these people who could greatly contribute towards making our society more sustainable.
By using them as supervisors during repair meetings, many positive effects can
be achieved at the same time. People who might otherwise be sidelined are involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is passed on. The volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products is reduced.
Furthermore, repairing instead of throwing away helps to cut CO₂ emissions; manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO₂ to be released. Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. Repair Café helps change people’s mindset.
This is essential to kindle their enthusiasm for a sustainable society. But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.
Why don’t you give it a go?