Gets Stuff Fixed
A Repair Café is a meeting between citizens who are determined not to throw away their objects anymore without trying to repair them ! A Repair Café, is you, us, getting together for a workshop to repair together.
Repair Cafés are regular events, usually held once a month in many municipalities.
All kinds of objects can be repaired at a Repair Café, from small broken electrical household appliances to trousers with holes in them.
Repair Cafés have a positive ecological, social and economic impact.
You will learn how to repair your objects yourself with the help and tools of volunteer repairers
Repair Cafés are workshops organised to learn how to repair our defective objects together instead of throwing them away. They are also an opportunity for neighbours to meet each other and share their knowledge and experiences. The objective ? Co-repair between citizens and the development of new habits to combat waste.
218 Repair Cafés in Wallonia and Brussels take place every weekend on average
872 items repaired
45126 kg CO2 emissions prevented
4578 kg waste prevented
Don't panic at the words 'repairing together' : no need to have any repair knowledge or to bring tools with you ! Just sit down with the repairer and participate in the repair work at your level.
Obviously, a Repair Café requires coffee! In each Repair Café you will find a small, convivial corner where you can enjoy a drink and meet your neighbours while waiting for a volunteer to take care of your object.
Helping each other out
Repair Cafés are entirely volunteer activities, carried out by people who offer their time to help others. Visitors will be asked for a voluntary contribution to participate in the costs of the Repair Café. Everyone can also provide support in kind, for example by bringing some treats for the volunteers !
I would never have given it a try on my own, but there's a good atmosphere here, people help each other and share their tips. It's so rewarding to be able to do this by yourself !
The Repair Café allows me to share convivial moments with the volunteers but also with the people who bring their appliances and don't always know what to do.
What kind of objects can I bring to a Repair Cafe ?
Most Repair Cafés offer repairs in the following areas: small household appliances, sewing, computers and bicycles. Other repairs are possible depending on the skills of the volunteers present that day : sharpening, repairing jewellery or wooden objects, etc.
Check in advance whether the Repair Café you wish to visit offers the type of repair you need !
The four action goals of a Repair Café
The ecological impact of Repair Cafés' workshops is tangible and significant, resulting in more than 170 tonnes of waste avoided in 2019 in Brussels and Wallonia. Repair remains one of the shortest cycles in the circular economy, producing the least amount of waste and pollutants. Moreover, through the concrete action they embody, Repair Cafés have a direct effect on changing people's attitudes for a more sustainable world.
The Repair Café is an important place of social cohesion. It creates local connections and facilitates the meeting of people from the same neighbourhood, who might never have met each other otherwise. At the same time, it also helps to reintegrate isolated or marginalised people, whether they are simple visitors or volunteer members. Finally, it enhances skills that are sometimes disparaged and it generates self-confidence on a technical, relational and communicational level.
The Repair Café is a place for exchange, for sharing skills and knowledge. Volunteer repairers can improve their skills at each workshop while allowing the visitors to gradually become more competent in fixing their everyday objects. The goal is that everyone will one day be able to repair their own objects. It is also a perfect place to reduce the digital divide and learn to think more critically of the mechanisms behind planned obsolescence.
Repair Cafés are an undeniable gear in the circular economy as they promote eco-design, reuse and a change in business model. They also establish links with the commercial sector, since visitors are frequently redirected to local spare parts suppliers and/or professional repair services. Furthermore, repairing skills increase the citizen's purchasing power : when an object is repaired, the user will not have to replace it. Finally, many repairers discover a professional vocation at the Repair Café, which makes it a springboard to future employment.