Day 8 : Fix instead of buying new


In a society where clothes have never been so cheap, and imported garments flood our stores, it’s a lot easier to throw away and buy new stuff instead of trying to fix what could still be worn. Today, very few people can sew on a button. While most of us will buy new shoes and new garments to fill our wardrobes, small sewing and mending workrooms are starting to grow in popularity. They’re called repair cafés, where skilled volunteers come and teach other people how to fix their broken things.

We have all heard of the reuse, reduce, recycle mantra but it’s rarely put in place. Here the aim of these community workshops is to beat the ‘buy-break—dispose-buy’ cycle, while learning and sharing skills.

In many corners of the world, we seem to have forgotten that we can repair things ourselves, and the trend is now spreading: “How patches became hip again”. Practical knowledge is considered by many to be less important than academics, and in many countries teaching these skills is no longer part of the school curriculum.

Repair cafés are trying to change that by bringing the community together and helping people appreciate the value of the objects they possess. This reduces the volume of raw materials, energy needed to make new products, and cuts CO2 emissions that would be needed for the manufacture of new products and recycling the old ones.

This type of sustainable society is also more fun - getting together, chatting over a cup of coffee and some baked goods, mending not only broken items but building relationships, too.


So next time you notice a tiny hole in your favourite sweater, instead of going to buy a brand new one, try to fix the one you already have!

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