Where to repair your club’s equipment in Brisbane
A how-to on using repair cafés to repair your community organisation’s equipment for free.
What is a repair café?
Repair cafés are a global movement of spaces where skilled volunteers give their time to replace broken or defunct items that require rewiring, fixing, resewing or any array of repair work. Often, you can also buy a cup of coffee while you wait for your item to be fixed. Hence the ‘café’. This is also a great way to give back to the amazing volunteers who offer their skills.
As the cafe’s use silled people who volunteer their time, it may not be feasible to get large quantities repaired (think 20 hockey sticks). However, they are a fantastic place to bring any one-off broken items that may be out of warranty and expensive to replace, such as a lawn mower, goal poster protector or kitchen appliance like a microwave. You will need to call or book in advance so the repair café can understand what needs fixing and match you up with someone who has a unique skill set to repair your item.
Remember, being a free service, repair cafés are operated by volunteers and may not always have the right skills or capacity to fix all the items you need repairing. However, it’s still worth having the item repaired instead of buying new (more on this below). So if the free repair cafés can’t fix your item, try supporting local businesses and go to a paid repair and restoration service, which can often be cheaper than buying new anyway.
Nowadays, many products are built and designed poorly with short-life spans. Some are even deliberately designed to break down after a certain timeframe, forcing consumers to replace their products with the latest model (this is called ‘planned obsolescence’). Often, small issues or malfunctions within a complex product can make the whole thing unusable, even though one piece can be easily fixed or replaced.
By repairing your products when they are damaged, instead of throwing them out and buying new ones, you are extending the lifetime of materials and products. Not only does this save your club money (as you don’t have to go out and buy an entirely new product) but it lowers CO2 emissions as most product manufacturing and transport is energy and fuel-intensive, emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It also reduces the amount of waste being sent to landfill.
Repair cafés are part of a global movement to give consumers the legal ‘right to repair’ their items – ensuring that if they repair their defunct products, they will still legally be covered under warranty. Increasing the awareness and understanding of repairing will help our community move away from a ‘make-take-waste’ way of consuming and instead focus on keeping materials, products and resources circulating throughout our economy for longer, which is better for the environment and often, better for your bottom-line. Learn more about why we really need to be able to fix our stuff or visit the Australian Repair Network, spearheaded here in Brisbane by Griffith University.
Repair cafés in Brisbane (and surrounds):
When: Every 4th Saturday of the month, 9am to 12:30 pm, no booking required
Contact: email@example.com, 0450 062 543.
When: Every 2nd Saturday of the month, 2pm to 4pm, bookings preferred, walk-ins welcome
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , 0474 905 560
When: First event, 25th June 2022, no booking required
Contact: email@example.com, 0428 439 001
When: Every 1st Saturday of the month, 8:30am-11:30am, bookings required
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , (07) 32843081
When: Once per month, alternating Saturday morning (8:30am to 12:30pm) and Sunday afternoon (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm), no booking required
When: Every 3rd Saturday of the month, 9am to 12:00 noon, no booking required
When: Every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month, 9am-2pm
When: 2nd Saturday, every other month, 10am-1pm, bookings required
When: Varies, bookings required.
Facebook: Repair Café UQ EWB
When: Walk-ins available, bookings preferred.
Facebook: Stafford Repair Cafés