WATCH: Repair Café gives broken items new life

Apr 21, 2016

Every other month, the basement of the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church in Kingston becomes a restoration workshop.

The Repair Café came to the Hudson Valley four years ago by way of John Wackman, a local woodworker. Wackman helped set up six of the free workshops in different towns around the Hudson Valley. The Kingston Repair Café has been active for two years. 

Broken lamps are a common sight at the Repair Cafe in Kingston, but they're usually pretty easy to fix, say organizers.
Credit Jenna Flanagan

The Repair Cafés are a brainchild of a Dutch woman in 2008.

The concept has caught on, becoming a worldwide movement, a sort of modern-day Luddite movement, if you will.

The Kingston Repair Café is run by Gai and Dmitri Galitzine, who believe that too many items are discarded and replaced when they could be repaired and reused.

The café offers a peer-to-peer opportunity to learn many tinkering skills that keep more otherwise usable items out of landfills — and more money in everyone’s pockets.

She says they specifically chose the uptown Kingston neighborhood because many of its residents had hit hard economic times and they wanted to make sure they reached people who needed the café, not just liked it.