Starting a Repair Cafe in your community is a rewarding way to connect with your neighbors, welcome strangers, preserve and teach “tool literacy” skills, and reduce waste. The Repair Cafe Community is united in the goal to help people extend the life of the items they value and depend upon.
Any community can start its own Repair Cafe and there is a whole USA community to support you! There are 2105 Repair Cafes around the world–over 100 in the USA.
To be an official Repair Cafe you must register with the international community based in the Netherlands and purchase the starter kit. The funds support the work of the international community. Once you notify the organization that your Repair Café is up and running, you’ll be put on the map so anyone, anywhere, can find you!
REPAIR CAFE USA
In order to be embraced and supported by the community, every Repair Cafe must be a grassroots effort, grown from within its own community to meet its members unique needs. There is no one right way to start or manage a Repair Café, but we’ll share advice, tried and true “best practices,” and suggestions gathered from RC organizers and their volunteers from across the US.
You’ll learn how to attract volunteers and keeping them coming back, the kind of tools and equipment they need to operate safely, and the ideal location. You’ll learn how to attract partners and sponsors to help promote your events and defray expenses.
For more information including how to organize volunteers, set up repair stations, what type of tools and signage are needed read Chapter Seven “How Do I Get One of These in My Town?” page 161 in Repair Revolution – How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throwaway Culture published by New World Library.
START WITH A VISIT
to an existing Repair Café or Fixit clinic or Collective Event. Check the organization’s website, Facebook page, or blog to find an event location. Drop in to observe what types of items people bring to be repaired and observe the interaction between volunteers and the public.
are the backbone of your event. Look for active friendly people in your own community who already volunteer for any type of organization or activity to help others and the handy folks that everyone calls when they need something fixed. As we say “Repairs by experts who are also your neighbors.”
can offer a free location, legal advice, insurance, publicity, and help you find volunteers. Local governments, waste, recycling, reuse, environmental, and “green” non-profit organizations, libraries, religious institutions, civic and service clubs, schools and maker-spaces are organizations that frequently sponsor repair events.
THE RIGHT LOCATION
is a rent-free space on a main street in a walkable neighborhood a short distance from public transportation. Look for public and commercial spaces associated with your partners/sponsors such as libraries houses of worship, schools, senior centers, town halls, etc.