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OTHER VARIATIONS ON THE REPAIR CAFE IDEAS ACROSS THE GLOBE

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 MISSION OF WASTE FREE PROVIDENCE LOCAL SMART SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT

Our mission has been to launch the development of a series of ongoing  community Dare to Repair Cafe Clinics and S.M.A.R.T 2 SWAP Swapoloza Green Recycle Swap Meet events in the Providence Rhode Island community. The purpose of our mission and the nature of our work is to encourage and empower our diverse city residents of Providence with enviromental friendly literature, events and programs to recycle, reduce, reuse and renew to save our environment and prevent the state’s landfill from reaching max capacity by 2034. These event will be the first of it’s kind in the state of Rhode Island and the city of Providence since the conception of the very first repair cafe which started in Amsterdam about a decade ago.

The start date of our inaugural Waste Free Providence’s Smart Sustainability Repair Cafe to be known as the Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic will be for December of 2019. Our monthly scheduled repair cafe events will be held indoors at Gloria Dei Church in Providence Rhode island throughout the colder months and outdoors during the warmer months on the grounds of the Rhode Island statehouse. 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 spinning music, free samples from local supportive restaurants and food trucks, a live on-air broadcast from a local radio station, free door prizes and giveaways provided by our corporate sponsors. Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic will enlist the involvement of community volunteers with the knowledge and the experience to guide and assist our event attendees in learning how to repair or fix their personal belongings and household items. Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic ultimate goal is to changing and reshaping the Providence community’s lack of education, behavioral patterns and attitude when it comes to the negative impact of increased waste and pollution in our landfills and waterway. Many city dwellers and most likely the attendees of our Dare to Repair Cafe Clinic events wouldn’t bother trying to see if they could fix or repair a used (broken, damage, defective parts or just not working) item etc. It’s most likely that a person will replace that same item by them purchasing the exact same item whether (online or offline) which in turn that used item which could been fixed or repaired but in most cases will eventually end up in the local city or town landfill much sooner than later.