TXRX Labs Hosts Houston's First Repair Cafe This Weekend

Don't throw it away—fix it Don't know how? These folks do.

By Katharine Shilcutt October 27, 2017

TXRX Labs is already known as a place where handy Houstonians congregate, and where the less handy go to get handier.

The East End non-profit offers everything from hands-on classes in everything from leatherworking and soldering to brewing and knitting, and monthly memberships that provide access to tools and labs for metalworking, woodworking, machining, ceramics, photography and much more. The goal, according to its website, is "to bring creative people together, to serve as an incubator for imaginative solutions for everyday problems, to make opaque scientific and technical concepts accessible to everyone through education, and to provide much-needed services to our community, made possible by the skills and passion of our membership."

This weekend, TXRX Labs will providing one of those much-needed services when it hosts Houston's first-ever "repair cafe." Contrary to its name, a repair cafe isn't a permanent fixture, but rather a community event in which "fixers" offer their services for free to those who have repair needs, whether it's a broken TV or a button-less button-up. It's a movement that began in Amsterdam in 2009 with the goal of reducing waste, strengthening communities and teaching repair skills.

"Personal consumption of durable goods add up to 8 percent of GDP, and non-durable goods add up to 15 percent, totaling about $4 trillion dollars annually in the USA," explains TXRX. "The more we buy, the more we throw away, often during the first year! And...most people no longer know how to repair things." 

In addition to finding local fixers, you can remedy that situation by learning how to fix that TV or shirt yourself at this Saturday's repair cafe at TXRX Labs. "We invite you to bring in a broken item and meet local people who have offered to share their skills to help you make repairs," writes TXRX. "If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table, by leafing through books on repairs and DIY."

The repair cafe runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 28 at TXRX Labs, 205 Roberts St. The event is free to attend, though registration is encouraged.

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