What is a Repair Café?

A repair café is a public event with opportunities to receive free repairs on broken items and to promote cost effective practices and learning. Persons can bring in broken items to be repaired by volunteer fixers.

The first repair café was started in Amsterdam in 2009 by Martine Postma. Martine stated she started the Café because she was feeling increasingly frustrated with the developed world’s throwaway culture. Repair Café’s are now run all over the globe to save money and reduce landfill waste, cut CO2 emissions, promote learning opportunities and foster community.

The Orillia Repair Café:

Through the grant we received from the Ministry of Seniors Affairs, Information Orillia was able to host a local repair café. This was in partnership with the Lake Country Time Trade. This event focused on financial sustainability and saving waste from the landfill, as well as promoting inter-generational learning and community. Various tables were set up for repairs and information. An individual would come and complete an initial intake where a waiver was filled out. They were then directed to which table they could receive repairs from, dependent on the item brought in. Tables we offered included “Fix Your Fabrics,” “Fix Your Technology,” “Fix Your Finances” (complete with information on budgeting, as well as local opportunities and ways to save money), “Fix Your Bicycles,” and “Fix Your Furniture.” We also had displays on Information Orillia services, a Lake County Time Trade info booth and sign up, a children’s table with crafts and broken items they are able to repair, refreshments and more.