Reduce waste with your local repair café

Using and volunteering at your local repair café has many benefits for the local community.

Last updated

10 July 2024

West Sussex repair cafés

Using or volunteering at your local repair café has so many benefits for the local community and the environment! We asked West Sussex repair cafes what the benefit of their service is and here’s what they said:

Not only does it save countless items from waste, but people feel delighted that they are able to do just that. By repairing items as opposed to purchasing new it saves CO2 and raw materials. In 2023 The Hassocks repair café repairs resulted in emission savings equivalent to more than 9000kg of CO2, that like flying 60,000 miles (or 3 times round the world).

At Transition Worthing, electrical items that can't be repaired go via one of the repairers to his after school techy club for students to learn how to dismantle and even scavenge parts, leaving nothing to waste.

Customers can also watch the repairers and often learn that it's worth trying to repair something, giving them the confidence to give it a go. One of the transition Worthing repairers, has even appeared on TV, educating people all over the country on the benefits of repair!

“There is a real joy in being able to fix something for someone, and then showing them how”

Repair cafes are made up of volunteers and are almost always looking for new people to join in. Most offer a free service and are able to cover costs like, rent of the space, public liability insurance, special equipment and publicity costs through small donations.

What can they work on? 

The answer is a very wide array of household items:

  • Mechanical and electrical items - vacuum cleaners, toasters, kettles, coffee makers, air fryers, radios, CD players, keyboards, lamps, clocks.
  • We can also PAT test electrical items to be sure they are safe to use.
  • Wood items - picture frames, chairs or tables with wobbly legs, knife handles.
  • Garden tools - replace handles for forks or spades, secateurs, repairing cords for hedge trimmers. lawnmowers.
  • Treasured objects that need to be delicately glued like statues, toys.
  • Textiles - repair or replace zips, sew up seams, replace buttons, stitch up little holes and tears.
  • Sharpening - knives, scissors, garden tools.

Most repair cafes just have a few rules they ask customers to follow:

  • Items must be clean.
  • It must be something you can carry in.
  • You bring items for repair at your own risk, we can offer no guarantee for repairs.
  • Repairers are entitled to refuse to repair items.

For a list of repair cafés in West Sussex and their contact information, visit our Community climate action map.

To see our repair café discussion forum, visit our website.