Breaking the use-and-discard cycle, one repair at a time

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“As a nation we’ve begun to rethink our relationship with food — what we eat, and where it comes from,” says set designer Sandra Goldmark. “Now is the time,” she continues, “to rethink our relationship with consumer objects as well.” Along with husband Michael Banta and a number of fellow theater artisans, Goldmark will open a four-week Pop-Up Repair Shop in Inwood this June.

In a video for the pop-up shop’s successful Indiegogo campaign, Goldwater explains that “This shop is the pilot program of a larger project aimed at breaking the cycle of use-and-discard consumer goods.”

Beginning June 1, you can take your household goods to Pop-Up Repair’s home at 4975 Broadway. There, a staff of theater professionals with years of on-the-job experience in making and fixing a wide range of objects by hand will be on hand to repair your lamp, chair, kitchen item, small electronics, bag — or whatever else you may bring in. According to the shop’s description, “The first few customers will be ‘pay what you will,’ and from then on we will charge a reasonable fee (this is part of the experiment, to learn whether and how much people will pay).”

One factor barring consumers from seeking repair on their bought goods is the matter of cost effectiveness — with manufacturers and retailers constructing products that quickly break or obsolesce, it is often less expensive to buy a new replacement than it is to fix what’s broken. The Repair Shop is an experiment aimed at disrupting this wasteful cycle through a positive model: affordable, thoughtful, community-based labor.

For more information on the Pop-Up Shop, follow them on Facebook and watch the video below to meet the repairers you’ll find at 4975 Broadway: