09 May '12, 1pm

Dutch ‘Repair Cafes’ keep stuff out of the trash by fixing it for free

In the Netherlands, there are more than 30 “Repair Cafes” — groups that meet once or twice a month to repair (for free!) clothes and gizmos and tools that might otherwise be discarded. The New York Times visited the original Repair Cafe, which began two and a half years ago, and found that people want to keep their stuff — even cheap stuff, like H&M skirts. They just don’t know how to mend it themselves: “This cost 5 or 10 euros,” about $6.50 to $13, [Sigrid Deters] said, adding that she had not mended it herself because she was too clumsy. “It’s a piece of nothing, you could throw it out and buy a new one. But if it were repaired, I would wear it.” The group repairs electronics, too — everything from big-ticket items like vacuums and washing machines to the little gadgets that go haywire, like irons, toaster ovens, and coffee pots. Repair Cafes are mainly driven by the ti...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/dutch-repair-cafes-keep-stuff-out-o...

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