In Paris, Repair Cafes give local DIY enthusiasts the chance to help their fellow citizens
French association created in April 2013, the Repair Cafe, has decided to save used objects from being thrown away by having them repaired by amateur DIYers, during friendly meetings in Paris.
Avoiding waste while having a good time: that’s what the Repair Café say. The Paris association offers the chance to bring in used objects (small electrical goods, furniture, clothes, etc.) during local monthly meetings, which are always held in different cafes. They provide the tools and materials needed for the repairs. Expert repairmen and women supervise the local amateur DIYers as they bring objects back to life.
In order to create a friendly environment, members are encouraged to bring drinks and cakes to share, so that the DIY session can turn into a pleasant encounter.
The Paris association encourages a modern form of bartering, where everyone shares their expert talents and specialist experience with the local community. The DIYers are all volunteers, as are the cooks, and entry to the cafes is free.
Repair Cafe explains: “We Europeans throw away an enormous amount, even things which are barely damaged and would be perfectly usable with a simple repair. For many of us, repairing is no longer something we do regularly. We don’t know how to do it. The knowledge in this area is disappearing. Those who still have these practical skills are not always valued as they should be in society. Their experience is barely appreciated. Repair Cafe has changed everything! We teach people to see what they own differently, and to rediscover their value. Repair Cafe promotes a change of mindset, the first condition of a sustainable society built by all.”