History: The Repair Café International Foundation
The Repair Café concept arose in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time a journalist and publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café International Foundation (see http://repaircafe.org/en). This foundation provides professional support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café, such as the Repair Café – Austin/Dripping Springs. The foundation supports the Repair Café at Sententia Vera Cultural Hub.
About: The Fixer Movement, a mix of Maker and DIY
Repairing is the fourth “R” of environmentalism after Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This culture is related to the DIY phenomenon, the Maker Movement, and the Collaborative Culture. The fixer movement strives to make throwing things away no longer the norm. “Toss it away? No way!”
This Fixer Culture promotes shared learning and pooling knowledge, promoting the empowerment of people through autonomy and intergenerational exchange.
About: The Repair Café – Austin/Dripping Springs
Repair Café – Austin/Dripping Springs offers the community the option of helping participants with broken items, ‘fix-it’ themselves, with the assistance of a “maestro” repairer and an encouraging culture. It is just as rewarding for the “maestro” repairers within our community to share their time and talent with life-long learners.
It will also be a space where generations can build off each other’s skill sets. For example, older generations may be better repairers than the younger generation, who tend to be more natural with technology and know-how to maneuver through settings and apps. There are many talents to draw from in our community.
About: The Repair Monitor – Collecting data with the RepairMonitor
A registration form will be used for every repair to collect data via the Repair Café International RepairMonitor central database. This is not only useful for our own Repair Café data collection, but also for the global repair movement.
All data entered on the registration form will be entered into RepairMonitor and stored in one central database. This is constantly analyzed by Repair Café International and partners. This provides important insights such as:
- Which products do you find most often in the Repair Café?
- What is needed to repair these products?
- Why do some repairs succeed and do others fail?
- Which brands are generally easy to repair?
- And: which brands should you not buy?
Repair Café International uses these insights in its contacts with manufacturers, politicians, and consumers. We argue for better designed products, better regulation, and more careful use. Our goal is that we can use products for longer, easy to repair, and repair them better.