Have you ever thrown something out because it’s broken? Or maybe you have a box full of broken tech gathering dust? Perhaps your favourite pair of jeans has an awkward rip down the backside? Have you ever wanted to repair it but not known how?
A new Repair Café for campus
On Friday 3 November, the Sustainability Service will be launching an on-campus repair café in collaboration with Makerspace in the Edward Boyle Library.
Skilled volunteers will be on hand to help staff and students fix their stuff including:
- Clothes, shoes, textiles, and jewellery
- Phones, laptops, and tablets
- Small appliances (kettles, toasters, desk lamps)
- Music and audio equipment (amplifiers, speakers etc.)
- Children’s toys
If any items can’t be fixed, the materials and components could be used to fix something else.
When and where
The new Repair Café will take place monthly at Makerspace in the Edward Boyle Library on campus. The day will vary each month to allow as many staff and students to be able to make use of it.
The first Café is planned during LUU's Climate Week on Friday 3 November. It's a drop in session meaning you can come along with your stuff at any time between 1230 and 430pm.
Makerspace is located on the ground floor (level 9) of Edward Boyle Library. Use your University ID card to enter the gates and turn left, and you'll see signs for Makerspace before the staircase.
December's Repair Cafe is already in the calendar for Thursday 7 December 12.30-4.30pm. All the dates including those in 2024 will be listed on our events page.
How Does the Repair Café work?
The Repair Café model has had success worldwide and you may have even been to one in Leeds. Our on campus Repair Café will work in a similar way but with the added benefit of the fantastic resources and equipment at Makerspace.
The Café will be open to staff and students to bring their broken/damaged clothes, electronics, appliances and more. You can drop in at any point during the Café opening hours.
The ethos behind a Repair Café is to help share repair skills, so volunteers with the right know-how will help you figure out what is wrong and walk you through the repair. There's no charge to use the Repair Café, but some repairs might need you to purchase specific parts or materials. You can also pop along for advice
Users of the Repair Café will have access to the equipment at Makerspace including LASER cutter, 3D printer, CAD software, high spec sewing machine and overlocker, soldering stations and a range of hand tools.
Isn't it easier to just recycle it?
The motto ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ is more than familiar but it’s missing an important element: repair. Repairing forms an important element of a circular economy model by prolonging the life of products and reducing demand for manufacturing and the extraction of raw materials.
Recycling is of course preferable to landfill or incineration and it’s important to know where to recycle items that are at the end of their life. However, recycling involves the collection, breaking down, reprocessing and redistribution of materials which still contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. You'll also often want to replace the recycled item with a new one - which also contributes to resource use and greenhouse gas emissions.
By repairing and then reusing products, we can also limit the quantity of resources going into waste management and ending up as residual waste.
Want to know more?
See our events listings for upcoming Repair Café events.
We're always looking for volunteers with repair skills to get involved, if you are interested or have any questions about the Repair Café please contact Chris Bowie.
Keep up to date on the latest news
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on the Repair Cafe is linked to the following SDGs:
- Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
- Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
- Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals
Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.