Repaired Things


I fixed my shoe.
October 2, 2012, 4:54 pm
Filed under: fabric, rubber | Tags: , ,

Hey Anne, do you still have your blog about repairs?  I fixed my shoe.

Hey Allan! Thank you for the photo! I will post it. What happened to your shoe? I have kept Repaired Things going, but just barely.

It’s what happens will all my shoes, the inside of the back of the heel came undone.  And all the shops were like, “Oh, we can’t fix that.  You have to stop kicking your shoes off.”  Scolding me!  So there was this flap of shoe hanging around the inside, so I sewed that very crude patch on.

There are plenty of people in India who will fix things like that. Our cobblers are just lazy.

And it’s a cost of labor vs. cost of manufactured goods thing.  I don’t exactly understand it.  The relative cost of a repair, vs. the cost of a new item, is higher in rich countries than in poor countries.  It’s because labor costs are higher in rich countries than in poor countries, but since the shoes (everywhere) are made in the poor countries, the new shoes end up being relatively cheap vs. the repairs, because the repairs have to be done by a high-wage-earning person in the rich country.
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Unless there were some way to outsource/globalize the repairs.  Send a container-load of damaged shoes to India, have them fixed at the local rate, and then ship them back.  Just need to convince people in North America and Europe to wait three months for their shoes to get repaired, but for only $1.
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This is true, but if you were willing to pay a fair 1st world rate for someone to sew the back of your shoe back together, then why wouldn’t they do it? Because they don’t want to – not because they can’t. Even in India people told me that my sandals weren’t worth the time to repair, but they did it anyway because I was willing to pay.
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Besides, it is worth it in the long run. We are just externalizing the costs of producing cheap goods; the costs are there in environmental harm and human rights abuses; we just don’t see them. So if I want to not hurt anyone with the things I wear, it might be cheaper to pay $20 for my things to be repaired rather than buy expensive new free trade / organic shoes.
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Maybe if the economy stays crappy more people will go into the sneaker repair business.  At least the high prices are forcing people buy smaller cars.  It’s a start.


Makeshift Exhaust Pipe Support
July 30, 2012, 7:06 pm
Filed under: electronics, metal | Tags: ,

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My exhaust pipe ring snapped right outside the Lincoln Tunnel. It was dragging on the ground! I was meeting Anne to get her apartment key because I locked myself out and had to prepare for a gig in a few hours. I tied up the exhaust pipe with an extension cord. Those things are so handy 😀 It held for a week until it was convenient to get the replacement ring. $7. And, the cord still works, I believe.
Michael Durek



Bike Repair Workshop
June 3, 2012, 9:10 pm
Filed under: metal, rubber | Tags: ,

With Eric Clausen of Drawing America By BikeNURTUREart, May 5, 2012

How to change a tire with a fork!



Patch Happy!
June 3, 2012, 8:53 pm
Filed under: fabric, leather | Tags: , , , ,

Workshop lead by Sewing Rebellion NYC at NURTUREart, May 27, 2012

Photos by Tsubasa Berg



Fixers Collective Workshop
June 3, 2012, 8:06 pm
Filed under: electronics, plastic | Tags: ,

Fixers CollectiveNURTUREart, May 19, 2012

This vacuum and my blender couldn’t be opened, because they were designed with specialty screws, requiring specialty screwdrivers to open. But the Fixers have rigged one, which they have at their usual space at Proteus Gowanus. I’ll have to take my blender there next time!

This sewing machine was missing a small but important piece. Victor had a spare piece of plastic and it did the job.

This lamp took center stage at the workshop.



Social Sculpture Workshop
June 3, 2012, 7:03 pm
Filed under: metal, wood | Tags: , , ,

Lead by Kristyna & Marek Milde at NURTUREart, May 12, 2012.

And the sculpture in use!



I love my neighbor’s fence.
May 20, 2012, 6:04 pm
Filed under: wood | Tags: