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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: November 14

ACSWMD is hosting our third Repair Fair in partnership with the Makery at the Hannaford Career Center.

When: November 14, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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

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. 
  • 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.
  • Learn something: This event is about working together and sharing skills. We encourage you to watch or participate in the repair of your item. Our hope is that participants will leave the event excited about seeking out repair options instead of throwing away broken items and buying new ones.

What can get fixed?

The types of items that can be repaired at the event depend on the skills of the fixers who volunteer. Our current list* of fixers are skilled in:

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

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

View our House Rules (PDF). Upon arrival at the event, you will be asked to sign the House Rules form to indicate your agreement with our policies. Anyone who brings items for repair will be required to sign the form.

Partners & Sponsors

The ACSWMD Repair Fair on November 14, 2019, is being held in partnership with the Makery at the Hannaford Career Center. The Makery is a member-based collaborative that provides a place for people to imagine, experiment, network, collaborate and create for personal and professional growth. Located in the Hannaford Career Center, the following Makery Labs have experienced mentors overseeing safety, offering advice and answering questions:

  • Woodworking 
  • Computer/3D Printing
  • Sewing

The Makery is open Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.

The following local businesses have generously sponsored this event by donating a raffle item or refreshments:

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 and was organized by Sarah Lundquist, ACSWMD's 2017-18 ECO AmeriCorps member. Eleven fixers repaired the clothes, textiles, appliances, bikes, jewelry and more from over 60 attendees. Approximately 75% of the items were successfully fixed!

The second Repair Fair organized by ACSWMD was held on February 14, 2019 at the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury. We had over 85 attendees bring more than 90 items for repair. The most common things folks brought in were clothing, appliances, electronics, jewelry, and furniture. Thanks to our volunteer fixers, about 60% of the items were successfully repaired and kept out of the landfill! 

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.