Re­pair cul­ture is back in fash­ion...

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - EXCLUSIVE - By Judy Vick­ers jvick­ers@sun­day­post.com

THEY were the quiet bas­tions of el­derly gents whose hands could per­form mir­a­cles on bro­ken clocks and faulty wire­lesses.

Now the lo­cal re­pair shop is about to get a new lease of life in Scot­land.

Com­mu­nity re­pair cen­tres are set to spring up around the coun­try fol­low­ing the suc­cess of The Re­mak­ery, an Ed­in­burgh shop, which opened last year.

It’s part of a re­vival for the “make do and mend” cul­ture which fell out of fash­ion as goods be­came cheaper.

New re­pair shops will aim to fix the likes of com­put­ers and mo­bile phones, as well as the tra­di­tional ar­eas of cloth­ing and fur­ni­ture.

So­phie Un­win, founder and di­rec­tor of Re­made in Ed­in­burgh, the com­pany be­hind The Re­mak­ery, said: “We have had so much de­mand – 30 dif­fer­ent in­quiries in the last month, in­clud­ing as far as New Zealand, which is amaz­ing.”

Re­made in Ed­in­burgh be­gan in 2011 with £60 and a small group of vol­un­teers with the idea of filling that gap.

Now it has 10 em­ploy­ees, 20 vol­un­teers and more than 10 free­lance tu­tors, as well as the shop on Leith Walk.

In the last year, it helped 1,000 peo­ple to re­pair their goods, and So­phie has won UK So­cial En­tre­pre­neur of the Year plus the busi­ness model is set to go na­tional.

“We are con­fi­dent we can share our suc­cess­ful model,” So­phie said.

It’s not the only re­vival of thrift and mend­ing go­ing on in Scot­land ei­ther.

Tran­si­tion Stir­ling has in­vested in a 3D prin­ter so that it can print out miss­ing parts of bro­ken prod­ucts which can’t be bought.

The Re­pair Café idea, based around the move­ment which be­gan in Am­s­ter­dam in 2009, launched last month.

“It was hugely suc­cess­ful,” said Lyn­d­say Sut­ton, pro­ject of­fi­cer with Tran­si­tion Stir­ling.

“We are plan­ning to hold them reg­u­larly – our next one will be next month.”

Like The Re­mak­ery, the group also runs work­shops to teach peo­ple how to mend their goods them­selves.

“We are try­ing to bring back our re­pair skills and sewing skills,” said Lyn­d­say.

Miriam Ad­cock, pro­ject man­ager with Zero Waste Scot­land, said there are a num­ber of projects spring­ing up across Scot­land, of

So­phie Un­win at The Re­mak­ery. Pic­tures by Chris Austin.

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