We have become such a throw away culture that we tend to chuck things in the bin if they’re broken / we don’t need them anymore. Here are some alternative options:
In Boulder we have a shop called UbreakIfix. Everyone thinks they’re just for phones but I’ve taken a microwave, a bike light, a hairdryer and 2 laptops in there – almost all of which they’ve managed to fix. They evaluate it for free so there’s literally no downside to taking it in there. They’ll even recycle it for you if they can’t fix it and you don’t want it back.
Take a bike to almost any bike shop and get it fixed up OR learn to do it yourself with Community Cycles. They not only offer refurbished bikes for sale but are also an educational center for bike care and repair, seeking to provide equitable access to bicycles for everyone in the community.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think my kids spent their lives crawling on their hands and knees because they get SO MANY HOLES in their leggings. Instead of just throwing them in the bin, I have taken to (very badly) sewing them up myself. It’s a win-win because I feel very proud of myself and they get more wear out of their clothes! To make it easy, I keep an old wicker basket with needles and thread in which I buy from Art Parts or acquire from kids toy kits that they end up not using.
Shopping second hand is SO fun and so much less impact on the planet (more about that in another post) but it does mean that not all sizes are available. If you find something you love but it doesn’t fit you, you can always alter it. I bought an amazing dress for a friend’s 40th, took it to Boulder Custom Tailoring (just near Nude Foods) where they took it up, added shoulder pads and made it a little less low cut! (I’m the one on the left).
I have been skiing in the same ski outfit for 15 years and often wonder if I’ll still be skiing in it when I’m 80! It’s pretty hard wearing but the insides of my pant legs got a bit cut up from my skis so I took them to Boulder Mountain Repair which specializes in repairing outdoor gear and they sewed extra tough patches on the inside ankles and I’ve had no problems since. They also repair packs, sleeping bags, tents and more! Bare Boulder also offers this service AND if you have an idea to create a piece of outdoor gear yourself, they can even prototype it for you!
Take them to locally-owned McGuckin’s Hardware for repair or servicing.
Pretty Much Anything…..
This is really the jewel in the crown of Boulder’s ‘fix-it’ community – Boulder U-Fix-It Clinic. At Boulder U-Fix-It Clinic events, people bring all sorts of broken appliances, toys, electronics, clothing, and jewelry and work with volunteer coaches to learn hands-on repair skills. A set of tools is available for each participant to use.