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Meet the Woman Behind the Repair Café Movement (2019)

Dorothea Kessler, iFixit:

Our lives are packed with things. But what happens to those things when they’re broken, worn out, or not needed anymore? That’s one of the questions that drove Martine Postma during her work as a journalist. Postma’s articles focused on sustainability and how to reduce and prevent waste. In 2009, she did a story on Platform 21’s art exhibition on repair. She was so inspired by the practice of fixing things that she started the world’s first Repair Café in Amsterdam that same year.

“I wanted to do more than just write about it,” Postma says. “More and more people don’t feel good about our throw-away society and are ready for change. [They] don’t throw away because they want to, but because they don’t know what else to do.”


Martine’s wish for the future is a richer and more diverse repair landscape: “You can buy new stuff anywhere, anytime. We should have these options for repair, too.” By giving people more choices, repair could be for anyone: whether it’s at-home DIY, done with others at a Repair Café, or bringing something to a professional and paying a fair price. “There’s plenty of possibilities to move to a society where repair is considered as normal.”

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