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Changing the ‘throwaway culture’
By Jerry Brownstein
Repair cafés in the UK are dedicated to giving new life to things that might otherwise be thrown away, and to saving tonnes of waste from going into landfills. Two branches of a group called the Remakery are basedin Edinburgh and Brixton. They serve as both repair centres and as second-hand stores. They are also education centres - showing people how to mend and extend the lives of their appliances, which helps the environment and also saves money. Since opening in 2012 these Remakerys say they have diverted over 200 tonnes of waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfills.
“Someone put it together, so someone can take it apart... you only need a Phillips screwdriver and some knowledge!” says Sotiris Katsimbas, the lead technician at the Remakery in Edinburgh. Down in the Brixton shop, co-founder Sophie Unwin is intent on setting up a network to replicate their work internationally. They have received interest from people in the US, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, Austria, Ireland, Germany, Australia and elsewhere in the UK. Sophie explains that they will provide toolkits and advice to groups who want to recreate what she has done.