On the mend … fightback against modern throwaway culture comes to the West End

By Ellen Thomson at

A global movement against the throwaway society is coming to the West End.

Repair Café Glasgow set up last year to help people mend everyday household items.

Repair Cafe Glasgow

Repair Cafè Glasgow set up last year

The idea has spread from Amsterdam where the first cafe was opened 10 years ago.

Bike for Good on Haugh Road will host the first West End session on Saturday.

Its usual home is at the Kinning Park Complex on Cornwall Street in the city’s southside.

Lauren Crilly at Repair Café Glasgow said everyone was looking forward to the inaugural West End event.

Repair Cafe Glasgow

Saturday’s event is the first in the West End for the Repair Cafè

She told Glasgow West End Today: “People can bring along everything from a pair of jeans, to a lamp, to a kettle.

“We will aim to team them up with a volunteer repairer.

“Most of our repairers have been with us for a good few months now – and they are expert fixers.

“We provide repairs and practical advice for people who sit with the repairer throughout the session.

Repair Cafe Glasgow

Repairers have a wide range of skills and expertise

“That way that person is also gaining skills and learning too.

“And as ever, there will be tea and coffee and cake.

“On top of that, Bike for Good are offering basic bike repairs from their team too.

“And it’s all on a pay-what-you-want basis.”

Repair Cafe Glasgow

Sessions allow skills to be passed onto others

Many broken items are relatively easy to repair, but many people have so little repair knowledge that they don’t succeed in doing so independently.

That was one of the conclusions that Repair Café International Foundation drew from a recent analysis of almost 8,000 repairs.

It found 65% of all repairs were successful.

In many cases it turned out that items were not really broken, but mainly needed maintenance.

Repair Cafe Glasgow

Many broken items are relatively easy to repair

Simple tasks such as cleaning, descaling or lubricating were often enough to make a product work again.

Lauren says: “People are definitely wanting to fight back from the throwaway culture we live in.

“Products now are definitely made to be less repairable.

“But we kind of say ‘don’t take broken for an answer’ – at least try, and even when you’re trying you’re learning new skills.

“Textiles are a big part of what we do, but we get a lot of household items; blenders, which are most repairable.”

* Repair Café Glasgow is at Bike For Good, 65 Haugh Road, Saturday June 8 between 12pm and 3pm.