Repair Cafe and The Circular Economy

Repair Cafe and The Circular Economy

Repair Café Toronto is driven by a belief, that of sustainable consumption in our modern times. This view is brought to life by a rapidly growing community of caring and dedicated volunteers. At their events, this group invites the public to bring in their seemingly broken household items and does their best to fix them. Electronics, clothing, jewellery and even books are all accepted. The final goal is to extend the life of our consumer goods and reduce our household’s waste.

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The Repair Café

In 2009, the Repair Café was founded in Amsterdam and has quickly spread across the globe to over 1,000 locations. Three years ago, Toronto became one of these locations and since then, Repair Café Toronto has steadily grown and helped Torontonians reuse their “broken” items and prevent them from ending up in a landfill.

When going to a Repair Café event there is a unique electrical feeling that radiates throughout the room. It’s not unusual to see several volunteers working together to solve a problem or congratulating each other on their successes. Each four-hour event typically sees approximately 100 visitors bringing all types of items to be repaired. As an extra benefit, coffee and small bakery items are also available to visitors and volunteers.

Another standout feature about the Repair Café is how well they treat their volunteers. They understand that their volunteers make up their whole and they put great emphasis on treating their volunteers with the greatest amount of care. Much of their planning is centred around making each event comfortable and accessible for their volunteers.

The Circular Economy

Sustainable consumption is one of the key characteristics of the circular economy. The circular economy was created on the belief that the traditional economy creates an abundance of waste products that are extremely harmful to our environment. In the traditional economy, products are produced, consumed and then disposed of. Throughout this linear production process, there are greenhouse gas emissions, toxic chemicals, general waste and eventually, product disposal.
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In sharp comparison, the circular economy is characterized by a production cycle that reuses its output and is circular in design. So for example, items that are consumed can be sent back to the producer to be repaired, remanufactured or upgraded instead of ending in a landfill. Although this is just a piece of the whole, the goal of a circular economy is to reduce waste, pollution and other negative impacts.

The Beginning

And this is where The Repair Café comes into play, they take your broken items and do their best to make them useful again. This way, the typical product disposal is replaced by a new beginning of usage.

The Repair Café wants you to bring your broken items to one of their events. Their upcoming events are;

  • Saturday, May 28, 2016 – 10:00 am-1:00 pm at Skills for Change  located at 791 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Saturday, June 18th, 2016 – 12:00 am-4:00 pm at Driftwood Community Recreation Centre at 4401 Jane Street, North York, ON, Canada

You can find out more about the Repair Cafe on their website.

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6 years ago

Thank you for this wonderful article. I love your blog! I love it because, not only does reading it save me money, but I also learn about new ways of being green. Can we set up a meeting soon to discuss my budget? Thanks!

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