Repair Cafe

The Repair Café is a free space, where people gather in order to fix their broken belongings together. In the Repair Café you can find all the necessary tools and materials, anything that can be used to repair clothes, furniture, electrical devices, bikes, cutlery, electronic devices, toys, etc. Our volunteers-experts help to fix everything that needs to be fixed.

You can also bring your broken things and repair them together with the specialists of The Repair Café. In that case, it turns into an endless learning process! If you have nothing to repair, then you can just come and take a cup of tea or coffee. You can also help someone with mending. Moreover, the visitors can find some inspiration in the books of the ‘DIY’ series, accessible in the Café.

Perm’s Repair Cafés have the format of pop-up events, rather than stationary platforms. Our first Repair Café took place in the Perm City Cultural Center in May 2017. Ten teams of repairers have been unceasingly working to help more than 200 visitors.

This is how it was:

We mostly used Internet and social media platforms to spread out the information, concerning the event. Despite that, a lot of senior ladies, who are used to repairing their broken belongings, participated in the work of The Repair Café. Some of them were visiting the event repeatedly, bringing more broken things, as well as thank-you-chocolate for the repairers.

The Repair Café can particularly interest the senior citizens, who know how to repair things and who have enough spare time at their disposal. The day of the event we had a call from a senior man, who expressed his desire to participate as a repairer. We provided him with a table, that could be used for that.

We saw a big amount of broken laptops, phones and tablets. Therefore, we suggest inviting a sufficient number of repairers, working in that field.

Repairers appreciate it when the visitors accompany them during the repair process, asking questions about the the nature of the breaking, instead of leaving the master one-on-one with the broken thing.

Some visitors were asking for the necessary tools, that would permit them to fix the belonging independently. Usually those were mothers with teenage sons, who needed just a little bit of repairers’ assistance. We think it is important to make this possible.

One mother said the following: ‘When my son was little, I was living alone, so I’ve learnt how to repair any kids’ toys. I can happily share my knowledge in the format of a workshop’. Workshops of the type can become an integral part of The Repair Café.

The Tool Library can perfectly complement the work of The Repair Café.

We are the first to organise this kind of event in Russia, however in other countries this format is quite popular.

If you are interested in opening you own Repair Café, contact Ania (ecoprotest@gmail.com). We will be happy to share our experience, as well as to tell you all the details necessary to organise this event yourself.