The kinds of things which might be fixable at a repair café include small electronics; simple computer problems; toys with broken wheels; torn clothes, missing buttons, broken zips; small items of furniture; bicycles; books; or other household items.
You either come and fix it yourself or get the help and advice of specialist volunteers to carry out a repair.
Repair cafes are not set up to compete with professional repair businesses. In fact, they are a great way to signpost people to reliable and reviewed professionals if a repair is too difficult to do at the pop up café or needs specialist equipment. The reality is that lots of repair businesses are closing up shop. This means skills are lost and in the future it could be even harder to get stuff fixed.
The idea is to encourage people to think about repairing and reusing things, instead of throwing them away. This actually help these businesses to keep going. We are building a list of friendly local repair businesses you have used in Belfast that might help be of use to others – add your recommendations here.
Repair cafes are springing up all over the world – over 1,000 of them, including in the UK and Ireland. We aren’t aware of any other repair cafe in Northern Ireland, but would love to hear if other people or groups are working on one. Let’s get one started for people here in Belfast!