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Give one, get one, at Swapalooza!


You’re invited to a festival of sharing, swapping and up-cycling!


Waste Free Rhode Island is happy to present Swapalooza! A fun community event designed to reduce the impact that waste has on our landfills and environment.


Bring your unwanted goods to exchange for new treasures, or up-cycle your clothes right on the spot. Our team of designers will be there to give your beloved outfits a new life!




“Swapalooza” is a friendly community swap festival that invites everyone to be more eco-conscious: buy less, swap more, recycle and up-cycle.


What is a “swap”? – to exchange, barter or trade one thing for another.


What is “palooza”? – Originating in the early 1900s, the word “lollapalooza” refers to a “remarkable or wonderful person or thing, an exceptional example or instance.” The suffix “palooza” has since referred to extravagant festivals around the world.


Swapalooza is an exceptional example of wonderful people coming together to help one another and the environment.



  1. By up-cycling instead of throwing away your old items, you’re doing your part to save the environment.
  2. Besides helping the environment, you’re making an impact in the local community. The item you swap will go to someone who needs it and couldn’t afford it otherwise.
  3. Give one, get one! Bring an item to swap and get a new (to you) item!
  4. You save money by swapping with someone else instead of buying new!




October 26th (Saturday) 2019 // 10:00 am -1:00 pm at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church located at 15 Hayes Street Providence, Rhode Island.


Across the street from the Providence Place (Cheesecake Restaurant) and next to the Rhode Island State House lawn (Gasbee Street).


Open to the public. Free admission, no pre-registration needed to join. There will be food trucks and live music.



  1. Clothing
  2. Home goods/supplies (kitchenware, vases, picture frames, candles, rugs, etc)
  3. Electronics (Laptops, cell phones, tablets, etc.)
  4. Books, CDs, DVDs/Movies
  5. Toys
  6. Skills! If you have a valuable skill and want to contribute, please do!



  1. Please, no selling at this event. This event is only about the free exchange of items you don’t use anymore.
  2. Please try your best to bring one thing to swap, share or donate.
  3. Please do NOT bring: anything previously used by animals, expired or open food, personal care products, medicine, dirty or ripped clothing or shoes, incomplete (missing parts) toys and games, non-working electronics, or undergarments of any kind including socks.


All leftover items will be donated to the Federal Hill House Association who will distribute them to people in need.


Come out and see us on Saturday for a fun Fall weekend event!




Waste Free Rhode Island is an environmentally friendly organization with a green recycling mission of creative environmental stewards dedicated to cultivating sustainable platforms for creative collaboration.


They believe it’s time we all focus on environmental protection and sustainable development within our daily lives. They aim to provide environmentally friendly products and organize and promote green activities.


Waste Free Rhode Island is excited to share this consciousness and encourages people to value and love the things they own and ensure nothing is wasted.


Darrell Turner, from Providence Rhode Island, founder of Waste-Free Rhode Island is an eco-enthusiast who hopes to create a platform for sharing secondhand skills and knowledge through building a community of swappers.


Repair Cafés are half-day participatory events where community members come together to help each other repair what’s broken. See this Berkeleyside video from the inaugural Berkeley Repair Café we organized in May 2018. We helped Transition Berkeley take leadership of Repair Cafés going forward; see this video from the first of their many Repair Cafés planned for The East Bay: Transition Berkeley Repair Café.

The Fundamentals:  Neighbors get to know each other over coffee, snacks and repair projects, learning about repair, sharing knowledge and skills, and squeezing more life out of the things they have. These events are intended to educate and are not a free drop-off repair service.

A team of volunteer “fixers” will be on hand who know how to repair all kinds of things and will work together with attendees to diagnose and repair broken items. The fix rate runs about 60-70% — everyone gives it a good try and learns a lot about fixing along the way.

Participants can bring all kinds of household items including – lamps, clothing, toys, furniture, electronics, appliances and bicycles … pretty much anything that can be carried through the door.

How is a Repair Café different from a Fixit Clinic? The heart of both is fixing. Repair Cafés are just larger and have lots of ancillary activities around repair, reuse and community well-being.

Excellent video from Al Jazeera
Short video from NBC Nightly News
48-second video from The Netherlands
New York Times article
The Guardian, London articlessgoc

Local economy:  Community Repair Events are not about competing with or supplanting local repair shops.  Rather, events support them through raising people’s awareness and inciting their motivation to fix.  Fixers and organizers make referrals to local repair shops and suppliers, which means good jobs.

Personal benefits include: individual empowerment, personal satisfaction, developing critical thinking skills, and changing the way people relate with material objects. 


Founded in Berkeley by Peter Mui!
Over 400 clinics held nationwide
Locally organized by and at Berkeley Public Library
Details on the Fixit Clinics website

What Fixit Clinic Events Are:

Do-it-together, hands-on, STEM-based fix-n-learn, community-based exploration and discovery workshops for all ages.

  A Free Workshop! 
NOT free repair services.
Fixit Clinics are participatory events.

Participants bring broken things for help assessing, disassembling, and possibly repairing.  Fixit Clinic provides: 1) workspace, 2) specialty tools, and 3) volunteer Fixit Coaches to help repair all kinds of things — from lamps, clothing, and toys, to mechanical, furniture, electronics, and appliances … pretty much anything that can be brought through the door. 

Whether fixed or not everyone learns something about how it was made and worked.  And then didn’t!

How is a Fixit Clinic different from a Repair Café?  The heart of both is fixing.  Fixit Clinics are explore-and-discover STEM workshops focused on learning through fixing.

Short video from The News Hour
Longer video interview of Peter Mui at eTown eChievement Awards, on larger vision for Repair
Information on Volunteering to be a Fixit Coach
Fixit Coach Howdy Goudy is a champion of repair:  Lawrence Berkeley Lab Newsletter


Community Repair Events across the country and around the globe have different emphases and take various forms. 

The common and critical objectives are teaching and emboldening people to fix their own things; encouraging a shift in how we think about our possessions; and raising awareness around the profound impact extending the life of what we already have makes.

The common format is volunteers who know how to fix things getting together with people who don’t to bring broken things back to life. 

The common thing that a Community Repair Event is not: They are NOT free repair services.  People are involved, participating, not leaving their broken items for someone else to take care of for free.  We’re in this together.

Speaking very generally, beyond those critical commonalities are slightly different emphases and structures:

  • Fixit Clinics lean into educating and empowering people to fix things themselves and has a strong STEM orientation. As of February 2018 there had been over 400 Fixit Clinic events across the US.
  • Repair Cafes are more heterogeneous, often leaning into community building around fixing. Some Repair Cafés encourage people to fix their own things; in others, volunteer fixers repair items in the presence of participants. Repair Cafés frequently incorporate other elements, such as children’s tinker zones, ecology resource libraries, social bars offering coffee, tea, bagels and croissants; and even massage and blood pressure stations. (Repair Cafe International Foundation was founded in 2009 in Amsterdam to support communities develop initiatives. As of April 2018 there were over 1500 affiliated groups worldwide, each holding multiple events.) Repair Cafe Palo Alto and Hudson Valley Repair Cafe are good examples.
  • The Restart Project works exclusively with electronics, teaching people how to repair their own electronics at Restart Parties and offering considerable online resources to do so. (There are over 20 groups in the UK and on the Continent holding ongoing “parties”.)

Many other unaffiliated groups host variations on the theme.  For example:

The purpose of our mission and the nature of our work is to encourage and empower our diverse city residents with eco-friendly literature, events, and programs using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely) sustainability campaigns.  

Our mission is to launch the development of a series of ongoing community Repair Cafe Clinics and Swapalooza Swap Meet events in the Providence, Rhode Island community. 

Our Dare to Repair Clinic will be the first of its kind in the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence since the conception of the very first repair cafè which started in Amsterdam a decade ago. 


Waste-Free Providence’s inaugural Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic will be in December of 2019. Our monthly scheduled repair cafè events will be held indoors at Gloria Dei Church in Providence throughout the colder months and outdoors on the grounds of the Rhode Island statehouse during the warmer months. 


The Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic will be a 4-hour fun family and community event with music by a well known local disc jockey, free samples from local supportive restaurants and food trucks, a live on-air broadcast from a local radio station, and free door prizes and giveaways provided by our corporate sponsors. 


Every Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic will enlist the involvement of community volunteers with the knowledge and the experience to assist our event attendees. The Repair Cafe Clinic’s ultimate goal is reshaping the Providence community’s behavioral patterns, culture, and attitude about the negative impact of increased waste and pollution in our environment.  


We hope to provide the literary material we have developed, host monthly events, and provide support to other communities that want to implement similar SMART campaigns. 


Our research shows that pro-recycling and anti-littering programs like ours will spread throughout the various cities and towns of the Ocean State. The flavor and format of the Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic events allows for a unique, scalable approach that will help promote community engagement as well as sponsors and support. 


The Waste-Free Providence Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic embodies the passion, power, and purpose of true grassroots lobbying and advocacy work. Our work uplifts people, and we believe that regional support and media attention will emerge as our partners recognize the dire need for more SMART sustainability. 


In the development of our cafè clinic events in the city of Providence, our purpose is:

  • Cultivating awareness of the pronounced impact reuse has on the environment, personal well-being, and our community’s resiliency;
  • To develop the motivation to repair the items we have and extend their life and;
  • Developing the capacity to repair by learning to fix things ourselves.