UK Repair Cafés

Community Spaces Fighting WastE, Promoting Sustainability

Haringey Fixers lampshades used to upcycle
Haringey Fixers lampshades used to upcycle

In recent years, Repair Cafés have become a popular feature of communities across the UK. These are community spaces where people can bring their broken items – domestic electronics, clothing, toys, furniture etc – and have them repaired for free by a team of local volunteers. The first Repair Café began in the Netherlands in 2009, and has since spread around the world, including the UK.

Repair Cafés aim to reduce waste and promote sustainability by encouraging people to repair rather than replace belongings. In a society where it is often cheaper and easier to buy new items than to repair old ones, Repair Cafés offer an alternative approach that is both environmentally friendly and socially beneficial.

Repair Cafés also provide an opportunity for people to learn new skills and connect with their community. Volunteers at Repair Cafés are often skilled in a variety of areas, from electronics to woodworking, and are able to pass on their knowledge to others. This not only helps to reduce waste, but also helps to build stronger, more connected communities.

According to, one of the leading sites, as of April 2023 there were over 2700 Repair Cafés globally, more than 40,000 volunteers and more than 50,000 items being repaired each month. There are now hundreds of Repair Cafés across the UK, and they continue to grow in popularity as people become more conscious of the need to reduce waste and live more sustainably. Some Repair Cafés have even expanded their services to include workshops and events on topics such as upcycling and sustainable living. Our Haringey Fixers Repair Cafés started with two in Tottenham and continue to grow apace.

The success of Repair Cafés highlights the importance of community-led initiatives in promoting sustainability and reducing waste. By providing a space for people to repair their belongings and learn new skills, Repair Cafés are helping to build stronger, more sustainable communities across the UK.