Repair cafes boost both community and sustainability

May 6, 2021

Repair cafes boost both community and sustainability

Une-Deux on K Rd is one of the first cafes taking part in the Repair café movement. Photo: Nataylia Butler

Repair cafes – a new concept in dining out while fixing stuff – are starting to appear in New Zealand.

These cafes encourage sustainable consumption and a lessened use of resources.

The more stuff getting refurbished and repaired, the less stuff in a landfill taking up space, goes the idea.

Customers get to preserve their appliances, furniture and clothing through quick and easy repair at these community events.

An Auckland-based environmental organisation, Doughnut Economics New Zealand, kept that goal in mind when it held the first Auckland Central repair café event last month.

James Watson, founder of Doughnut Economics New Zealand (DENZ), says he wants to encourage sustainable consumption.

“We saw people throwing away so much stuff, including myself.

“We’re talking about things like clothing, we’re talking about appliances, like toasters and electronic equipment, such as laptop computers.

“We need to encourage people not to throw out those items, if they’re perfectly good.”

Karangahape Road’s Une-Deux cafe has become the location of choice for a monthly repair cafe, where fix-it types will help those who bring in their broken stuff.

According to Une-Deux employee Azzi Lohrasbi, sustainability was a good cause to lend the cafe space to.

“Our lifestyle is very based on sustainability, and I was always thinking about how we can implement that.

“When I heard about the repair cafes from Wendy and James, it matched.”

Ms Lohrasbi has been pleased with the community interaction aspect of the repair cafes and has seen this as a net positive for both Une-Deux and the promotion of sustainable resource consumption.

The next repair cafe event is scheduled for May 8.

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