Image for Repair and share: the global grassroots repair cafe network

Repair and share: the global grassroots repair cafe network

Repair Cafe Glasgow is just one of hundreds of projects globally that host community repair events for people interested in learning how to fix household appliances and electronic devices

Repair Cafe Glasgow is just one of hundreds of projects globally that host community repair events for people interested in learning how to fix household appliances and electronic devices

When a gadget dies on you, it may feel like there is no option but to consign it to the scrap heap. But did you know there is a growing international network of repair cafes to help you fix your stuff? Organised by and for local people, often voluntarily, these are meetings at which people repair anything from household electrical and mechanical devices to computers, bicycles and clothing.

Among them is Repair Cafe Glasgow (pictured above). It was founded in 2017 based on the principles of Repair Café International and on the idea that our possessions have lots of life left when we maintain and repair them.

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“Our first event was in May 2018 when we had eight volunteers, and now we have 18 volunteers who do textile, electronic and electrical repairs, talk to community members during the events, make coffee and bake cakes,” says Lauren Crilly from the project.

Funding from the Climate Challenge Fund and the European Regional Development Fund allowed for two part-time positions and to buy the tools they use at community repair events. Topics covered include ceramic repair, visible mending and basic DIY.

Repair Cafe Glasgow is currently organising workshops for women and non-binary people in Glasgow via a project called Swap Market Govanhill.

Repair Cafe Glasgow hosts community repair events on topics such as ceramic repair, visible mending and basic DIY

“We understand the gender imbalance when it comes to repairing and want to empower women and non-binary people to fix,” explains Crilly.

“All of our repairs are monitored through a repair monitor and The Restart Project’s monitor. This data is used to make products more repairable and to create legislation which will help this cause and help the planet. Being part of this bigger picture of activism is so important and inspiring.”

In photos: Repair Cafe Glasgow

All images: Lauren Crilly / Repair Cafe Glasgow

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