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Company repair cafés are aligned with the circular economy model by enhancing the value of objects and aiming to eliminate the notion of waste – i.e. repair rather than throw away! The concept is very similar to a public repair café.
Employees are invited to bring objects from home to repair and also learn how to repair from volunteers. The organising company assembles volunteer repairers from its organisation and invites all employees. Company repair cafés usually take place during the week and are restricted to people who work for the company.
We'd like to develop company repair cafés to raise awareness about repairing objects and combat the consumption of materials. It's about giving objects a second life and also discovering some of these colleagues' hidden talents. It's also a place for people to come together and talk to other people from their organisation in another setting.
In Luxembourg, the most popular items are domestic appliances (coffee machines, vacuum cleaners, food processors), then everyday objects such as lamps, bikes, fabrics and tools. They're objects used every day and sometimes visitors bring objects that don't work anymore but they've kept them at the bottom of their drawers for several years. Around 60% of the objects people bring in are repaired and then go on to have a second life!
At the moment we haven't seen any difference between objects repaired in a company or public repair café.
Worldwide, repaircafe.org provides more information on the main objects repaired in 2020, 2021 and 2022
We advise anyone interested to look at the schedule for upcoming repair cafés on repaircafe.lu or on the Facebook page (facebook.com/www.repaircafe.lu). You don't need to register to come to a repair café.
Repair cafés wouldn't exist without volunteers, so you can also complete the form on repaircafe.lu if you'd like to contribute either as a repairer or to the organisation and smooth running of the event.
We've gone from four repair cafés in 2021 to 35 in 2022 and in 2023 we're already at 53 in September. The number of sessions is rising quickly thanks to efforts by towns.
As far as the objects brought in, there will soon have been 2.000 since repair cafés started in Luxembourg ten years ago and the 1.000 repairs barrier was passed this spring. Lastly, we have around 300 repairers and volunteers already involved.
There are still lots of challenges:
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