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Repair Fair

The Repair Fair is a free, family-friendly community event where volunteer fixers help repair participants' broken items. Our fixers will do their best to fix your item on the spot or point you in the right direction if your item can’t get fixed then and there. We can’t guarantee that everything will get repaired – but we will certainly try!

Our goal is to keep usable, fixable things out of the landfill while sharing skills, excitement, and community connections to build a culture of repair. 

At the Repair Fair, you’ll find tools, materials, and repair experts to help you fix your items. You’ll also find refreshments, kids' activities, and lots of friendly faces.

Next Repair Fair: May 9, 2020

ACSWMD is hosting our fourth Repair Fair in partnership with the Hannaford Career Center.

When: Saturday, May 9, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Hannaford Career Center, 51 Charles Ave, Middlebury, VT

Volunteers Needed

Are you handy? Good at sewing, jewelry, electronics, woodworking, or something unique?

We need volunteer fixers to help fix participants' beloved items of all kinds, as well as volunteers to help staff the event. Volunteers will be provided with a meal.

Email ollie@ acswmd.org if you're interested in volunteering. 

For Participants

There are a few important things to know about participating in a Repair Fair:

  • Parts & supplies: We will have a limited supply of tools and materials at the event. Your item is much more likely to be repaired on the spot if you bring any necessary replacement parts or materials. 
  • Learn something: This event is about working together and sharing skills. We encourage you to watch or participate in the repair of your item.
  • No guarantees: We can't guarantee that your item will be fixed, and we're not liable for any loss that may result from work performed or instructions given. Fixers have the right to refuse any item. Fixers are not required to reassemble items that can't be repaired.
  • Number of items: We reserve the right to limit the number of items fixed per participant or ask that you join the end of the queue for each subsequent item. 
  • Be patient: Wait times can be extensive at this popular event. Please be prepared to wait for your item to be seen. Refreshments will be available while you're waiting.

What can get fixed?

The types of items that can be repaired at the event depend on the skills of the fixers who volunteer. In the past, we've had fixers skilled in:

  • Sewing & mending
  • Small appliances & electrical items (such as lamps, fans, toasters)
  • Electronics (such as radios)
  • Furniture / Woodworking
  • Jewelry
  • Basic bike tune-ups

This list is subject to change at each event. Please email ollie@ acswmd.org or call us at (802) 388-2333 to ask about specific items. 

View our House Rules (PDF). Anyone who brings items for repair will be required to sign the House Rules form to indicate your agreement with our policies.

History of the Repair Fair

ACSWMD's Repair Fair is based on the idea of a "Repair Café," which originated in Amsterdam in 2009 by a sustainability advocate named Martine Postma. After the successful implementation of several Repair Cafés in her area, Postma founded the Repair Café Foundation in 2010, to spread the idea and share resources throughout the globe. Since then, over 30 countries have joined the movement and over 1,400 Repair Cafés have been established.

The three fundamental objectives of the Repair Café Foundation are:

  • To promote the lost art of repair in modern communities
  • To learn and teach repair skills and information
  • To cultivate social cohesion by gathering a diverse group of community members and encouraging them to work together to meet each other’s needs

ACSWMD's first repair event was held in June 2018 at Middlebury Union High School. The second Repair Fair organized by ACSWMD was held on February 2019 at the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury. The most recent Repair Fair occurred in November 2019 at the Hannaford Career Center's Makery.

Future events

ACSWMD is excited to continue this popular program in the future. If you are interested in partnering with us to plan the next event, email our 2019-20 ECO AmeriCorps member, Ollie Cultrara, at ollie@ acswmd.org.