Repair businesses provide antidote to throwaway culture


**The hall of a primary school in Brooklyn is unusually busy for a Saturday morning.

This is a “pop-up repair” event, and it is drawing in the crowds. Parents and children from around the neighbourhood have brought in their broken things to be fixed by menders, each with their own area of expertise.**

I thought this was an interesting article; it continues at the link.


Lovely. Thanks.


Fascinating article. I was amazed at the people who will pay more for a repair than the cost of jeans with the woman repairing jeans. Goes to show you how sentimentality plays into the picture!

Certainly something to think about if you have a talent of repairing things and definitely good for the environment.

Thanks for posting the article.



A problem with this is that so many products are made of such cheesey materials. I “inherited” my grandfather’s old oscillating fan. It’s really heavy, made entirely of very generous metal, and it’s powerful. It’s probably at least 70 years old but it still works just fine. It is put together with screws so a person could take it apart to repair it if needed. Even the finish is nearly pristine.

On the other hand, if one goes into, say, Lowes, and buys a fan, it’s mostly made of plastic. You can’t get inside it even if you wanted to. It’s extremely light and rather weak for its ostensible purpose. If something breaks, let’s say a fan blade, it’s “game over” because you can’t take it off and repair or replace it.

Yes, the Lowe’s fan probably uses less electricity. But it’s also just one more thing that will end up in a toxic landfill in very few years, possibly less, while my grandfather’s fan just keeps on working.


Old fans are as good as gold these days!


Ha! Well, Obama has promised to make utility bills skyrocket, so when we can’t afford air conditioning anymore, a good fan will be a valuable asset all right.

Obama/Clinton’s policies ought to be a boon to the cologne industry too. When I was a little kid, (and in a somewhat backward place) women in offices all had these bottles of cologne in their desks. When it got too hot, they would take out that bottle of cologne and brush some on their necks and arms to get a little cooling effect. Well, and they wore those tissue-thin dresses too, but those will probably all be made in Vietnam.


Yes. Cheap products are what lead to the “throw away” mindset. Not much sense in repairing junk. Just had a new water-heater installed, and the tech flat-out said old ones were designed to last longer than new ones.

I majored in apparel design. Fabric quality has generally gone down, and cotton is expensive. It’s most always cheaper to buy in America than sew one’s own clothes. It would be truly magnificent if there were an economical way to recycle cotton from knit t-shirts or jeans. True, there’s much that can be done with them thanks to thrift, but not everyone has time to make Pinterest worthy clothing, and rags still end up in the dump. There is some cotton recycling, but I haven’t researched it in a while to see how it has improved.

All that said, it does make things more affordable for poorer folks.


There is that old saying that “I’m not rich enough to shop at Walmart” because the quality is so low that nothing lasts.

Cotton rags are used in making better qualities of paper. But one of the historic benefits of cotton is that it’s cheaply produced.


I’m an old (48) Mets fan, so thank you.


Certainly a fishing pole I bought there lasted almost no time at all. Never again.


Historically, yes. Fabric was much cheaper when I was a kid, and I’m not old. It was better quality, too. When I was researching organically grown versus conventionally grown cotton, it was getting more expensive to produce. Can’t remember all the heretofores. Might have been because of oil. I haven’t been paying attention to it lately, so I don’t know if it has stabilized or not. Recycled cotton clothes are naturally a bit more expensive than new-bought.


A lot of people simply don’t know that appliances, for example, can be fixed. They replace them when all they have to do is to replace part to make it run like new again–it’s no wonder our landfills are overrun with nearly new items. Children aren’t taught how to fix anything anymore, or reuse things for other purposes. People throw things out instead of trying to have them fixed or make due with what they have. I’m lucky to have a handyman dh who can fix just about anything that breaks in our house. He’s saved us a lot of money. For example he fixed our fridge when the freezer temp regulator died. He simply replaced it. We even converted a cargo trailer into a camper and saved hundreds on that, too. All it took was some patience, some work, and using our brains instead of our pocket books. :wink:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit