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Repair Cafe Don’t Throw It Away Repair It Find a Repair Cafe Near You – or Start One Part Two

Part 2 of Repair Cafe

“The Repair Café was initiated by Martine Postma. Since 2007, she has been striving for sustainability at a local level in many ways. Martine organised the very first Repair Café in Amsterdam, on October 18, 2009. It was a great success.

 

PART 2 OF THIS PODCAST, Repair Cafe

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Jackie Carter

Jackie Carter is the Moscow Public Library’s Repair Cafe coordinator.

Right to Repair Movement

“The Right to Repair movement is the idea that manufacturers have this policy where if something goes wrong with an item you purchase you have to take the item to them for repairs.  That can be a big cost to you.  You are not allowed to fix it.”

“If you attempt to fix it yourself it voids the warranty.  But people are saying wait a minute.  I bought this.  I own this.  I should be able to do what I want with it.  I should be able to choose whom I want to repair it.”

“The event is also interactive in the sense of watch me how I do this and then you try it.”

“People come away with confidence to try things on their own.”

Planned Obsolescence

“There’s a concept most people aren’t familiar with because we are programmed to see things as disposable.  Planned obsolescence.  When something is manufactured it’s designed to fail in a couple of years so the consumer is forced to replace it.  We take it for granted.  That’s how it is.  We accept it.  But consumers should not be forced to replace something due to planned obsolescence.”

The Event

Dale

“I brought in a paper shredder that runs in reverse but wont’ run forward.  This kind gentleman Cory is fixing it for me. My goal is not to have to replace it and now I don’t have to.”

Tammy

“I brought in an older glass dish repair.  This dish is from my grandmother and recently the dish on the dish was beheaded.  They fixed it here.  I am so happy. I also brought in my jacket with a  broken zipper.  I thought the whole zippier would need to be replaced.  But they fixed the pull!  It was as simple as that.”

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Cory

I’m a mechanic.  I spent most of my career working on cars.  Today I a am a motorcycle mechanic.  I always loved to tear things apart. I heard about this and I wanted to tear other peoples stuff apart and fix it!  People are real happy.  I’m having fun.  I’m pro reusing of things.  I don’t want things to be thrown away when something can be easily fixed.  Keep things out of the landfill.”

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Cory Lemper, Repair Cafe Volunteer

spartanindustries17@gmail.com

Welding, fabrication, machining and repairs.

Jennifer

I have one piece of jewelry which is lovely and I wore it a lot.  The bottom came apart and it’s been sitting in my jewelry box for three years.  I got excited when this was advertised.  Well look.  It is fixed.  It’s so wonderful.   My necklace is going to have a second life.  That’s exciting.”

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Rochelle, Repair Cafe Clothing and Textiles Volunteer

(When I walked up to Rochelle she was teaching mending skills to a patron.)

“I think it’s important to share things with people and show them how to fix their things.”

“Repair Cafe is important in terms of community and people teaching and people learning.”

 

Don’t Throw It Away 

“It’s deeply unsustainable for the earth for us to continue throwing things away when they don’t need to be thrown away.  There are alternatives to that.”

“It’s also important for sustainability for honoring the workers who created these clothes whether it be in Bangladesh, Nepal or wherever.  They created clothing and textiles under unsafe working conditions.  What is it like for those people who are manufacturing our clothes?”

“I think being responsible stewards of the materials once we have them is honoring them.”

“Menders are having this conversation around the world.  But people might not have thought about this before.”

“Break your throw away habits.”

Partial Transcript

partial transcript

Right to Repair Movement

“The Right to Repair movement is the idea that manufacturers have this policy where if something goes wrong with an item you purchase you have to take the item to them for repairs.  That can be a big cost to you.  You are not allowed to fix it.” 

“If you attempt to fix it yourself it voids the warranty.  But people are saying wait a minute.  I bought this.  I own this.  I should be able to do what I want with it.  I should be able to choose whom I want to repair it.”

“Something might cost you $75 to fix but if you take it someplace else, like a local business it might cost you $15.”

“It shouldn’t be about the manufacturer but about making good products for the consumers.”

Event

“Somebody brought in a Kitchen-Aid mixer.  It squeaked.  The volunteer took it apart and figured it out.  It didn’t squeak anymore.”

“Items are also brought in that are sentimental pieces.  Maybe it was their mom’s or dad’s or grandparents.  It’s been sitting in the house for years.  Repair Cafe is an interactive place to meet people and talk to skilled volunteers to help you.”  

“It’s also interactive in the sense of watch me how I do this and then you try it.”

“People come away with confidence to try things on their own.”

“This little boy came in with a retractable tape measure.  My husband popped it open and he saw how it worked and he repaired it.  It retracted again. The child was so happy.”

“A positive imprint by the volunteer and maybe the child will help others and will be a positive imprint as well.”

Planned Obsolescence

“There’s a concept most people aren’t familiar with because we are programmed to see things as disposable.  Planned obsolescence.  When something is manufactured it’s designed to fail in a couple of years so the consumer is forced to replaced it.  We take it for granted.  That’s how it is.  We accept it.  But consumers should not be forced to replace something due to planned obsolescence.”

Wikipedia defines planned obsolescence as: “in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (that is, unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time.”

“As a consumer we are forced into this mindset of throwing away our belongings.”

“It doesn’t matter where you are politically or financially we can all agree that saving money is a good thing.  Everybody wants something that is reliable and will last.”

“Repair Cafe is a lot of fun.  I’ve encountered great enthusiasm from the community and the volunteers are amazing.  They give up their time for this.  It’s their way of giving back and sharing their knowledge and craft.”

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2 Comments

  1. Andrew Tynan on 05/04/2019 at 2:03 PM

    Great work!

    • Catherine on 05/07/2019 at 3:18 AM

      Oh thank you so much Andrew! I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast.

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