Built-in Obsolescence

See this article from The Guardian which talks about built-in obsolescence, especially of digital equipment.  It doesn’t mention this, but I understand that when the first filament light bulbs were invented, it would  have been possible to manufacture them to last indefinitely – but it was decided that that wouldn’t be good for business, and so a limited lifespan for each bulb became the norm.  So ‘built-in obsolescence’ is not a new concept, but shocking nonetheless given the mountains of waste we are creating at a time of shrinking resources.

Good to see the reference to Repair Cafes!

Coronavirus epidemic

Please note that, as you would expect, we are not able to meet in person during the current lockdown conditions.

Planning is still going ahead online.  Contact us if you would like to participate.

CCF Sustainable Fashion Festival 21 March

Fashion for good
Cambridge’s second Sustainable Fashion Festival will make it easier than ever to look good whilst caring for the environment.

Festival organiser, Nicole Barton of Cambridge Carbon Footprint, says: “This day is all about solutions. For alternatives to buying new you can talk to The Nuw Wardrobe about renting your clothes in the Cambridge area, or swap your unworn clothes at a big Swish (clothes swap party).  30% of the average wardrobe is unworn so why not refresh it with pieces that fit you and you’ll actually wear? ”

The sustainable pop-up market will be a great place to find new clothes that will allow you to #WearYourValues. At the luxurious end will be beautifully made organic cotton garments, vegan shoes by NOAH and bags made to last a lifetime.  And an array of upcycled, second hand and vintage stalls will mean there should be something for everyone.

Sustainable stylist Roberta Lee will be running workshops on colour analysis and creating a capsule wardrobe.  Meanwhile, the Cambridge Sewing Repair Café team will fix your ripped, worn and tired clothes for free.

The public are invited to bring all their empty make-up containers and paraphernalia to the BeautyCycle recycling point run by John Lewis who’ll also be there sharing news of a new cash-for-clothes scheme that’ll pay customers for unwanted clothes.

The Sustainable Fashion Festival takes place at St Barnabas’ Church, Mill Road, Cambridge CB12BD, 11am – 4:30pm on Sat 21 st March.

Everything is free, apart from the styling workshops; booking is required for workshops.

See http://circularcambridge.org/fashion-fest-2020/ for the full programme.

Upcoming Repair Cafes from March 2020

For more information go to http://circularcambridge.org/repaircafe/ and follow the links.

6 March: CB1 – CB1 Community Room

Huxley House, Mill Park, Cambridge

11:00 am – 2:00 pm


14 March: Eversden

Eversden Village Hall, 4 Chapel Road, Eversden CB23 1HP

10:00 am – 1:00 pm


15 March:  Soham Repair Café, Swish and Toy Swap

Soham Library, 7 Clay Street, Soham CB7 5HJ

10:00 am – 2:00 pm


21 March: Sewing Repair Café at Sustainable Fashion Festival

St Barnabas’, Mill Road CB1 2BD

11.00 am – 4.30 pm


28 March: Abington

The Institute (opposite the Three Tuns), 66 High Street, Great Abington CB21 6AE

10.00 am – 1.00 pm
4 April: Cottenham

Cottenham Community Centre Coffee Shop, High St, Cottenham CB24 8RZ

10:00 am – 2:00 pm


25 April: Fulbourn

The Townley Memorial Hall Fulbourn CB21 5BS

2.00 pm– 5.00 pm



2 May: Eddington

16 May: Sawston
6 June: Cambourne



Great Shelford Repair Cafe 2 – 5 pm Saturday 29 February

Our latest Repair Café where we shall repair electrical, electronic and mechanical items, bikes, textiles, jewellery, and general bits & bobs.  Watch the repairers work on your item and get their advice; have a cuppa and piece of cake while you wait.  All free; donations welcome.  You can just turn up with your item, but you may have to wait; it’s better to book it in.  Bookings will be open from 3 – 27 February inclusive – go to circularcambridge.org and follow the links.

Note that the Free Church are organising a Swish event (exchange of good quality second-hand clothes) at the church at the same time – see local publicity

Great Shelford Repair Café 2 June

With the support of South Cambridgeshire Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership (SPEP), Transition Cambridge, and Cambridge Carbon Footprint, 2G3S are pleased to announce our second Great Shelford Repair Café.  As last time, it will be held at The Scout and Guide Headquarters, behind the Memorial Hall, Woollards Lane, Great Shelford, CB22 5LZ from 2:00 – 4:30 pm on Saturday 2 June 2018.

Repair Cafe
Repairers in action at one of our Cafes

It’s a free event (donations very welcome) where we match amazing repairers with people who need stuff fixing.  Bring along the following to be repaired and to pick up repair skills: jewellery (and jewellery cleaning), sewing and fabric repairs (no alterations; and clean items only please), small household appliances and electrical items, knives or tools to be sharpened, computers, mobile phones, bicycles, and general bits’n’bobs.  This time we are also offering a book repair service, so if you have books with broken spines or damaged/loose pages, we can look at those too.    /cont’d

You can turn up with your item on the day, but as before we expect to be very busy so it’s best to book it in.  Bookings will be open throughout May – visit http://circularcambridge.org/repaircafe/ (where you will find more information about Repair Cafes) and follow the links.  The repairers are brilliant and can fix most things but there are no guarantees.  Lots of tea and cake available of course!