Sandymount’s First Repair Cafe

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Instead of throwing away your broken blenders, ripped clothes, or punctured tyres, why not bring them to The Repair Cafe. During the Celtic Tiger we could spend money without giving it a second thought, we would trash any old item to buy the newest edition, but in the last few years Irish people have started to understand the importance of recycling, reusing and repairing.

At The Repair Cafe you will find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. Household items, bikes, furniture, electrical goods, broken items and clothes are all welcome, with a team of expert volunteers to assist you with showing how your item can be fixed. The idea of the cafe is to help people think creatively and to get involved in turning their unwanted waste into something special.

The Repair Cafe was founded in Amsterdam in 2007 by Martine Postma and has now spread worldwide to nine countries in Europe and also in the US, Canada and even Brazil. The foundation helps local groups set up their own Repair Cafe, putting you in touch with other people in your neighbourhood who are interested in starting one too.

Claire Downey in Sandymount is the first to wave the flag for Dublin and get involved in the initiative. NewsFour spoke to Claire about why she decided to take the first Repair Cafe to Ireland. “I work in the waste industry and I was looking for new opportunities to reduce and reuse.”

Seeking advice on your item or to get something repaired is free of charge at the cafe but a voluntary donation is appreciated to help them cover some or all of their costs. If repairs cannot be carried out with what is available, the visitor will usually be given advice on where to buy the material and they can come back later if it is possible for their experts to mend.

The Sandymount Repair Cafe had their first opening on the 1st of March at Christ Church Hall and they hope to have the next one in May or June.

By Donna Dunne