Neighborhood Repair Revolution pops up in Oakland
on October 28, 2015
On Saturday in downtown Oakland at the vintage clothing store OwlNWood, a tailor, a seamstress, a shoe repairman and a techie set up. A soundtrack of urban groove music played in the background, as the sunny afternoon brought in Oaklanders with broken iPhones and worn-out clothing.
Jamie Facciola, a former corporate marketing director, came up with the idea for Repair Revolution to promote a range of neighborhood repair shops in a single event. She originally tested her idea in March, when she partnered with the Small Business Alliance to host a repair pop-up. Saturday’s event was her first attempt to bring business owners and customers together on her own.
“Repair Revolution formed out of my search to find a business model that decoupled environmental impact from growth. When I went looking for that, I found repair. You can have infinite amount of repair without creating infinite amount of environmental impact. I was really excited,” Facciola said.
Matt Zieminski, an iFixit.com employee, said he came out to support Facciola because their business missions complement each other. IFixit.com is a do-it-yourself site that sells repair parts and publishes free online repair guides for consumer electronics.
“We have trashed Third World countries with electronic waste. We believe if people knew, they might think differently about throwing out their latest tech and try to repair it, to sell it, to upgrade it or something like that,” Zieminski said. Several attendees said they came to the event after seeing a post on iFixit’s Instagram account.
Oakland residents Joel Gilman and Lindsey Testolin stopped at seamstress Elana Bloom’s table with vintage T-shirts that needed darning. “First time here, first time doing repair,” Gilman said. “We had a bunch of stuff and we thought we’d bring it down. As long as stuff keeps breaking, we’ll keep coming.”
By late afternoon, all the craftspeople were sewing, tailoring, darning, replacing and shining. Several customers wore Repair Revolution buttons.
Facciola said she hopes to find a permanent space so she can keep the momentum going. She hopes that repair fairs will eventually become mainstream just like farmers markets, craft brew showcases and flea markets. Her ultimate goal is for Oakland residents to embrace her philosophy: Buy what you love. Fix what you buy. Love what you fix.
Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org.