If It's Broke, Fix it! A Glimpse into Brooklyn's Fixers Collective

by Jennifer Prediger

Living in a consumer culture, it can feel like we’re on an endless treadmill of buying things only to have them break. Making plans to fix things is one way to outsmart planned obsolescence.

But where does one go to make mends? The Fixers Collective in Brooklyn, New York, is a place where people get together to put things back together. Master fixers and people with broken things convene each month to sew, patch, and restore the tired and broken items of everyday life.

This handy collective is a “social experiment in improvisational fixing and mending,” according to the group’s founders. During their regular meetings, regular and first-time fixers come together to create a can-do community

Amid a room full of tools, circuits get soldered, lamps get revamped, and vacuum cleaners get lovingly restored by helping hands.

When the handle breaks off a suitcase, why buy another piece of luggage when you can fix the one you have, in the company of new friends? Fixers learn new skills while deepening appreciation for the object being fixed.

If you’d like to fix the world, perhaps the first step is by fixing the DVD player that stopped working or the broken vacuum cleaner you’re thinking of putting out on the curb.

Want to learn more about the art of "working together to fix things in our lives?" Check out the Fixers Collective website.

Here's a video from Ask Umbra’s visit to the Fixers Collective on

Have a broken umbrella? Check out this video with step-by-step instructions on how to turn a  broken umbrella into a tote bag. It’s an important reminder that what’s broken can also be transformed.

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The title of this article should be “If it’s broken, fix it!” [Note the use of the past participle of the word “break.”]

Posted by Ken Libowitz at January 28, 2013 at 7:24pm

I love this concept!!! I try to do my part by reupholstering furniture, re-soling my shoes, and patching and repairing clothes. I agree that it isn’t always the less expensive route to go.

Posted by Christine at January 16, 2013 at 10:14pm

Hi, I just mentioned you in one of my guest blogs- our economy makes it difficult for people to pay for fixing things- it’s often cheaper for them to buy a new one. Charities throw things in the trash. You guys are beams of hope. How can we get more of these up and running all over the world (and the developed countries in particular)

Posted by Dale Brown, Guest Blogger, Center for New American Dream at May 7, 2012 at 11:42am

You guys rock! Maybe we all havent lost our Grandparent’s wisdom and talent

Posted by jill at February 7, 2012 at 1:58pm

Wow! Love the concept!

Posted by Aspen at January 25, 2012 at 8:09am


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