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Bower Reuse and Repair Centres

Kickstart the Repair Revolution

Have you heard?  The Bower’s talking about a revolution…

A repair revolution, that is.

Fostering a culture of repair has always been at the heart of the Bower’s mission to reduce landfill and care for our fragile planet.  It’s in our name – The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre  – and for the past 25 years since, our foundation has informed our practice in promoting a more sustainable way of living.   

When the Bower first opened the doors of our volunteer-built straw bale building in Marrickville constructed entirely of reclaimed materials, there was nothing like it.  

You could donate your fully working household items to the local op shop, but who would take your broken or damaged but fixable electrical goods, furniture, bikes etc? At that time, the most common destination for such goods was … landfill.  

The growing environmental crisis spurred by mounting waste and burgeoning landfill fed by cheap, ‘disposable’ consumer goods and electronics was only just beginning to seep into political and community consciousness. The first Federal Government meeting on Australia’s e-waste disposal was held in 1998 just around the time the Bower opened. In offering practical community-led solutions, the Bower was ahead of the curve.

A few years after opening, we commenced our free Collections service so instead of leaving out good quality repairable items for Council collection to take to landfill, residents across Sydney had an easy alternative which gave their unwanted or broken household goods a second life.  

We have been at the forefront of other repair movements such as the Men’s Shed (and more recently Women’s Shed),  which have helped community members share skills and revive the lost art of repair, in a positive and supportive social setting.  We have held workshops in various aspects of repair and restoration, such as upholstery, woodwork, electrical, bike and clothing repair, and more

In 2014 the Bower established Australia’s first community Repair Café, a place where likeminded people, community members, volunteers and repair professionals, could gather, exchange advice and tips, and get items repaired.  

Now in 2023, we are ramping up the repair revolution again and launching Australia’s first ever Repair Festival!

The Bower’s Repair Festival, in August 2023, was a two week long extravaganza of repair with practical workshops, artworks and creative activities using reclaimed materials, how-to repair stalls and displays for furniture, bikes, clothing and many other engaging activities celebrating and promoting re-use and repair!

The festival created a unique opportunity to bring together diverse skills from the Aboriginal community, local creatives, woodworkers, DIYers, professional repairers including electricians and carpenters, auctioneers, business and community organisations. 

Following the festival, we are establishing regular repair workshops and events which showcase and promote a repair ethos while upskilling residents and businesses to go beyond just thinking about recycling, but will accelerate community change, and empower people to make daily changes that will be long lasting, and have a real impact on our planet.

This momentum builds on the work of the Bower over the past 25 years and forms the launchpad for a new Repair Revolution – for our community’s sake and our planet’s sake.


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Contact Details

34 / 142 Addison Road

(02) 9568 6280

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Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.

We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation who are the traditional custodians of this land and pay respect to Elders past, present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people.

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