top of page
  • Writer's pictureJamieR

What is a 'Repair Cafe'? | Repair Cafe Kenilworth

Martine Postma, the inventor of the repair cafe movement
Martine Postma - inventor of the Repair Cafe

The whole 'Repair Cafe' movement was started in Holland, by Martine Postma, all the way back in 2009. Now in it's 11th year, there are over 2000 Repair Cafes worldwide, and that number is set to grow exponentially.

Martine was a journalist that specialised in the environment, and was looking at ways in which she could live a more sustainable lifestyle, the Repair Cafe idea helped her do just that.

It seems that we're living in a 'throwaway' society - as soon as something breaks, we replace it with new, and we've almost lost the art of repairing, or as our Granny might have once said "make do and mend".

Cost Effective Repairs

As consumers, especially in times of recession, we thank the big manufacturers for making goods that are more affordable ... a washing machine can be had for less than £200 for example, but ... and it's a big but, this means that if they breakdown, repairs may not necessarily be cost-effective.

If a repair is going to cost you close to the price of a new machine/item, which is entirely feasible when you consider parts & labour, why not just buy a new one?

It's a simple question, but with a long answer.

We need to look at more than the financial cost for a start; throughout the process of manufacturing and shipping, we have to consider the damage to the environment in terms of CO2 gases and the like, and of course disposing of an item like a washing maching machine creates further problems.

Repair Cafe Culture

OK, so it's unlikely that we're going to have many visitors carrying a washing machine on their back, but all manufactured goods carry the same risks of environmental damage, whether that's a lamp, kettle, wooden chair or plastic toy.

We can't guarantee a fix for every single item through the doors, but on average, a visitor to the Repair Cafe network goes home with a fixed item in 65% of cases, that's not a bad success rate, even more so when you consider that this is just with skilled volunteers, giving their time, energy and knowledge for free! (Although we do welcome donations).

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page