For my fourth and final co-op I am working with an organization called Club de Reparadores, which translates to Club of Repairers. This Club seeks to empower local repairers and promote reuse through fixing various household items. Skilled repairers volunteer their time at one of the Club’s events which helps the repairer also promote their own business for any further repairs that might be needed, outside of an event. Events are usually at fairs and are usually several hours long. People register and the organization keeps information on the items we fix as a way to see how much waste we are preventing. We fix a whole variety of objects and usually advertise before the event about any specific repairs that we might have at the fair.
In my first event we were in a neighborhood called Agronomía where we had repairers who had experience repairing shoes, clothes, electronics, bikes and even umbrellas. This event was really great because I got to get to know other people who wanted to keep using items that they still saw as useful. It was great to know that not only were people electing to stand up to a consumerist system, but they were also saving money while they did it.
This c-op has taught me the importance of really making the most of the objects that we have and ensuring that we don’t create more waste. I realized how easy it is in the US to replace something broken by buying a new one, while in Argentina there is more of a culture to repair things. It also put in perspective how keeping old objects and fixing them can be useful. It holds us accountable for our impact in the world and reminds us that we always have a choice in how we participate in the economy and what we say with the decisions that we make as a consumer. When we elect to reuse something we take responsibility for the waste that we create and we take ownership of the power that we hold as an active participant of a consumer oriented system.