Event Recap: Repair Cafe
Updated: Jan 18
By Contributing Writer Ava Vaccarella
Photo credits: Rutherford Green Team
This weekend, on Saturday, January 14th, Rutherford and the surrounding areas were given the opportunity to learn how to reuse and restore the various items around their homes that were in need of fixing. The soon-to-be recurring event—The Repair Cafe—took place in the Rutherford Public Library Basement, with a measurable amount of customers and volunteers in attendance!
An international occasion originally starting in Holland in 2009, The Repair Cafe provides participants with a variety of knowledgeable volunteers and repairs-people to fix a number of damaged or broken items, some of which can include—but are not limited to—bicycles, clothing, knives, electronics, and lamps. Those getting repairs done were told to sign in at the front doors, then provide information on their item, its defects, and whether or not they were helped in the end. Also visible upon entering was a sign with the Rutherford Repair “House Rules,” which guaranteed that all tasks were done by volunteers and were FREE of charge!
Customers bringing items for fixing were expected to bring the needed parts to do so, although the staff was still extremely resourceful in carrying the necessary tools. Various repairing stations were set up all across the room featuring sewing machines for clothing and textile repair and a sharpening area for knives, among others.
Notably, members of the Rutherford Green Team made up a large number of the Repair Cafe’s knowledgeable and handy crew of volunteers. Brian Hanson-Harding, a Repair Cafe volunteer and fellow member of the Green Team, states that he and many others are hoping to make the Cafe a quarterly event, occurring once in all four seasons of the year.
In addition, he says the Team is looking to spread the word about the Cafes’, seeing as they have been able to promote an eco-friendly and community-oriented environment within the town, through its volunteers and their upcycling skills. Brian Hanson-Harding explained, "At first we thought we were going to have trouble finding people, but it turns out, people just love fixing stuff.”
While there are several dedicated and helpful members partaking in the Cafe, Hanson-Harding says they are always looking for people. As someone who got one of my own items fixed at the Repair Cafe this weekend, there is no denying the commitment and skill of the volunteers there, as well as the Repair Cafe’s ability to teach others to reduce their waste and consumption of otherwise fixable products.