From trash to treasure: Repair Café

Your necklace broke? Your kitchen knife won't cut? That last hair cut you got left you looking like a troll? Repair Café may be your solution. Created in Holland in 2009, repair cafés are events where those with broken stuff and those with mending skills get together for free fixes. The meets are hugely popular in Europe, especially in Germany, but they are also popping up in the United States.

Transition Pasadena brought the idea to the San Gabriel Valley in June 2012. Events take place about once a month at Throop Hall or, sometimes, other locations. At the last local Repair Café — the Pasadena based development company La Loma hosted the event at The Shed on Lincoln Avenue — 200 visitors showed up. They brought dysfunctional flash lights, baggies with loose beads, and their bad hair cuts; they watched as volunteers strung necklaces and made machines work again. More than one visitor left sculptor Greg's knife sharpening table confident that she'd be able to do the job herself going forth.

All in all, the organizers recorded 71 repairs. To put it differently: in just three hours, 71 items transitioned from trash to treasure, saving their owners money and the community waste. Not to mention those free troll head transformations.
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The next Repair Café is scheduled for March 1 (Throop Hall, corner of Los Robles and Del Mar, 3-6 p.m.) If you have a skill and would like to offer repairs contact Therese at