Repair Cafes & Tool libraries
Recently the sharing economy has help spawn a range of tool libraries and with them repair cafes as the public become ever more aware that they are buying products and using them only once or twice before languishing in a draw or at the back of a cupboard. There is no surprise that sheds are overflowing with tools hardly used as we seek to replace rather than repair, adding more to the pilling waste being generated from throwing out items which could easily be repaired with a little knowledge a bit of practice.
Tool sharing and repair cafes have helped reduce that waste by extended a products useful life, reduced the need for everyone to own the same tool which only gets used once in a blue moon (how many people really need to own a chimney brush) and has cut out the packaging which would inevitably be placed around those tools.
So what is a Tool Library?
A tool library allows its members to borrow tools and guides such as drills, power cleaners, saws, chimney brushes and most other common tools that see the light of day once or twice a year. They are usually part of a community sharing scheme so often don’t charge or if they do its very little. Most will also hold events, DIY classes, mending meet ups or volunteer days for local community projects.
What is a Repair Cafe?
Repair Cafes are often community meeting places or independent cafes or spaces where you can bring most everyday items and with a little coaching repair them yourself. You’ll find some materials and tools and most helpfully an expert on hand to help you in the craft of repairing beloved clothing, bikes, furniture, electrical appliances or your favourite childhood teddy. You bring in the item and as part of a class or in a 1:1 session go through the stages of repairing and restoring. Most will learn new skills and for some it’s just about having the safety new of an expert in the room to give them the confidence to give it a go.
Here’s our run down of the UK’s Tool libraries and Repair Cafes