Repair Cafe: Broken items get fixed, for free

Bend project helps people fix, rather than replace

POSTED: 11:53 PM PST November 7, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

Broken toaster, ripped hiking pack, or vacuum that just doesn't work? Thursday night in Bend, such items were given a second chance at life, for free.

The Environmental Center in Bend and Pakit Liquidators teamed up to host the first-ever "Repair Cafe." It's something the Rethink Waste Project and the Environmental Center has put together.

"We are connecting people with broken stuff with people who like to fix stuff," organizer Denise Rowcroft said.

Volunteer Ben Lewis said, "I've got an old sewing machine that is repairable, if I ever need to repair it. I pay that forward, and I fix things that could be thrown away."

Lewis was on hand to repair anything that needed heavy sewing.

The organization brought in several volunteers to fix and share techniques to help fix items. They covered everything from small appliances and clothing to bikes, knit goods, small furniture, some jewelry and backpacks.

Organizers asked attendees to bring broken items and any replacement parts they thought might be needed.

"We want to make a difference," Rowcroft said, "We want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, and I think the turnout really shows that."

This was the first year for the event, and organizers aren't quite sure when the next one will be.