First published: 23/06/2023 -

Last updated: 22/03/2024 -

Verified by our Editorial Panel

Repair cafés help us make do and mend to reduce waste

There are 84 repair cafés across Wales, each serving as an affordable way for local people to have their everyday goods fixed – from electricals and clothing to bikes. The 'make do and mend' concept reduces the amount of waste being disposed, as well as saving customers money on buying new. 

How do repair cafés help us make green choices? 

Repair cafés make it easy and convenient to be resourceful with our electricals, clothes and other possessions. 

The Conwy Repair Cafe, which opened in October 2021, now has 15 volunteer ‘fixers’, all with different specialities. Retired geochemist Richard Hatton, who helped launch the café a year ago, is one of those ‘fixers’ and finds his role a perfect opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people.  Richard says:

I’d like to think of myself as a jack of all trades, willing to have a go at almost anything that comes my way. Our reception team tend to assign me electricals, especially kettles, toasters, mixers and hairdryers, as well as mechanical and wooden items.   

We need more people to come on board, to actively acknowledge the urgent need for change by reducing their waste – and in turn their individual carbon emissions.

Why take action? 

Repair cafés are rapidly growing in popularity – both in terms of the number of people bringing in their goods to fix, and in the number of volunteers supporting the cafés. They exist to help people change their relationship with their possessions; for example, you can save money and the environment by getting your bike fixed rather than buying a replacement.  

What is Wales doing? 

Start-up and ongoing support for repair cafés nationally is provided by Repair Cafe Wales, and has been funded by the Welsh Government. It’s one of 139 businesses, organisations, communities, schools and individuals that have already pledged to play their part in achieving net zero – with organisations taking inspiring action to reduce their own carbon emissions.  

In 2019, Wales became the first UK nation to declare a ‘climate emergency’. The Welsh Government set a target for the country to achieve zero emissions by 2050 and is investing £2 billion to support communities, businesses and organisations in their collective efforts to tackle climate change.  

Julie James, Minister for Climate Change said:

We are already one of the world’s highest recycling nations, with our municipal recycling having exceeded our 64% target. However, by encouraging a reuse and recycle culture when it comes to things like household appliances, bikes, and toys, we can not only further reduce waste but also tackle the climate and nature emergency – this is why the repair café concept has the full support of the Welsh Government.

More information

Find your nearest repair café.  

For further support or advice call

0300 0604400

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