If it's broke, fix it!

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

It's a common attitude: Why do things the hard way? Let's enjoy life's little luxuries, and so on. But as this attitude spreads, ever fewer people remember how to repair broken or damaged objects, such as clothing, lights, and household appliances. They don't know how to, and what's worse, they don't want to know. Throw it out, is the order of the day.

Martine Postma's Repair Café project wants to put an end to this, and make people mend their ways - and their broken objects.


Martine Postma wanted to teach people to stop throwing their stuff away and instead get back to using the screwdriver, needle and cotton, and other tools. In October 2009 she set up her first Repair Café. This initiative has developed into a montly tour around the country by Martine and her team.

The Repair Café project is being subsidised by the Dutch Environment Ministry and a foundation supporting neighbourhood improvement projects. The plan is to have Repair Cafés all over the country, run by volunteer experts, benefiting both your wallet and the environment.