Tinkerers & Waste Warriors

 

MIA collage Morwell

Our Waste Warrior mission is about keeping good items out of landfill by mending, fixing and repairing them at organised repair cafe events.  We also mend, fix and repair at home.



Our story features on the about section of our Facebook page at Mend It, Australia.  Us RUDE Guys [Kaz+Dan]
would like to share it here as well.

Karen Ellis has always been fascinated by the resourcefulness of individuals who mend, fix and repair their things.

“As a child, I vividly and affectionately remember moments of my mother mending and making do, such as turning my father’s thinning work shirt collars. Whilst I have always been mindful of not being wasteful with my things and with my money, it was not until I retired that I found time to share my mending and resourceful ways with others on Facebook at Rude Record.”

Karen’s husband Danny has trade qualifications, and has many transferable tinkering skills. When the couple was blindsided by bureaucrats and prohibited from informally volunteering their mending, fixing and repairing skills in their local community, they decided to tinker travel to other Victorian communities, and share their passion for reuse and repair.

“Together, Danny and I became known as Mend It, Australia. We are self-directed, self-funded and self resourced volunteers who currently travel to organised and free repair cafe events in Victoria. And in 2019 we are planning to travel interstate and volunteer at more of these repair cafes.”

Karen administrates the Facebook group Mend It, Australia which features stories from their tinker travels. She also shouts out about other individuals, groups and repair businesses doing great things, related to keeping good stuff out of landfill.

“I am a staunch advocate for the right to repair and to reuse recycled materials. My all time favourite quote is about thrift by G.K. Chesterton.”

“Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance…thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste…if a man could undertake to make use of all the things in his dustbin, he would be a broader genius than Shakespeare.”

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Tinkering Twosome

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force; he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger.”  James Allen

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Beat The Man by not waiting for permission to be involved in your communities.  Get out there without fear, and do grassroots good stuff.  It’s fun, challenging and very rewarding!

Us RUDE Guys have been busy attending Repair Cafes in regional areas.  As Mend It, Australia, we make ourselves available to volunteer at these events about twice a month.  We are self directed, self funded and self resourced.  We are travelling philanthropists who, if invited,  give our time and skills to communities hosting repair cafes.

Repair Cafes are free events organised by local communities.  People bring items to be repaired, fixed or mended by volunteer fixers.   Toss it?  No way! is the slogan from the International Repair Cafe Foundation

Fix It, Don’t Flick It, is our Mend It, Australia slogan. This year to date [February to May], we have attended and volunteered at a total of seven Repair Cafes in Geelong, Castlemaine and Rye.  In June we will go to La Trobe Valley Repair Cafe in Morwell for the first time.

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 10 February, 2018

Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 25 February, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton ~ 17 March, 2018

Above:  Geelong Repair Cafe ~ Highton – 14 April, 2018

Above: Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 29 April, 2018

Above: Southern Peninsula Repair Cafe ~ Rye – 20 May, 2018


Above:  Castlemaine Repair Cafe – 27 May, 2018

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” 

Mitch Horowitz from James Allen: A Life in Brief

 

 

Mend or End?

 

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Image Source: www

 

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RUDE Boy’s STIHL MS250 (42.5mm) chainsaw

Us RUDE [reusers (and repairers) of unloved discarded excess] Guys take great pride in maintaining our things.  We are not materialistic but we are true materialists.  We cherish, respect and care for the things that serve us well.

The STIHL chainsaw in the above photo was bought new by us about eight or nine years ago.   It has rarely been used and only for domestic use.  RUDE Boy was told and researched that STILH was the best for chainsaws.

Hell, this chainsaw was one of the few things we purchased new and it’s stuffed.  CACTUS!  Reinforces why we are not fans of spending big dollars on things that are manufactured to fail.  Yes, STIHL chainsaws are the best for planned obsolescence!  And yes, we will make sure we share our misfortune in an effort to warn others.

RUDE Boy took the chainsaw in for a service when it stopped working,  He was mortified when he was told the piston and bore had been scored and there was no compression.  He was then told it would cost over $AUD1,000 to repair it with STIHL parts.  Or $AUD670 with after market [generic] parts.

As in this article here [recommended reading], we were faced with the question of mend it or end it.  As we are the  Mend It, Australia team, we feel compelled to try and mend it, and share the experience on our Facebook page.

RUDE Boy has researched and ordered a motor from China for $AUD50.  He is reasonably confident he can replace the old motor with a new motor.  And hopefully, cross fingers and toes, this cheap part will make our hacked STIHL chainsaw serviceable again.

$AUD50 compared to $AUD1000 for repair is a huge difference.  We will try mending before ending.  It’s too early yet to say Beat The Man.  Stay posted.

Oh, and if we have to end it, because it does not work, we have been advised that ALDI sell a good domestic chainsaw for $AUD100.

Community repair: a pop-up alternative to the throwaway society

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RUDE Girl mending the purple check flannelette shirt at Mend It, Melton on 8 April, 2017

Us RUDE Guys will head off to Mend It, Melton [MIM] this Saturday 13th May, 2017. We are collaborating with a local organisation to deliver our community’s unique model of mend and make do.

MIM was launched late last year, with a small mending event, at our local railway station in Melton, Victoria, Australia.  The event this weekend is our second for 2017.  MIM has scheduled monthly events up until the end of the year.

You can check out all about MIM and see the photos and videos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/menditmelton/

The re-blogged article below is recommended reading and validates why Rude Record is involved in the not-so-quiet repair revolution.  Beat The Man!!

Discard Studies

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By Christine Cole, Nottingham Trent University and Alex Gnanapragasam, Nottingham Trent University

A not-so-quiet repair revolution is taking place in communities across Britain. Consumers, fed up with having to throw away broken phones, toasters and other appliances, are instead meeting to learn how to repair them and to extend the lifetime of their products. These repair “pop-up parties”, where like-minded people can improve or learn new skills in a supportive environment, can prevent still-useful products from ending up in the bin, while saving money.

Advances in technology and new applications, combined with faster product obsolescence, means that electrical and electronic equipment make up one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. The growing demand for these products is also driving unprecedented levels of resource extraction to keep up with increased rates of manufacturing of everyday goods – something that the planet can hardly support.

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Cashmere Capers

 

 

I’m pretty much a cheap date, you know… no alcohol, no meat at dinner, and then, you know, when I buy, go to Payless for shoes. When you don’t buy leather or silk or cashmere everything is much cheaper.
(Alexandra Paul)

The past few years I have really felt the cold, and have been on the search for woolen garments.  I am not too fussed about the condition of them.  Scavenger Style is my signature folly, so the more tattered the better.  And it gives me the opportunity to mend the garments.  This process enables me to make the items of clothing  my own.  I am currently watching The 100 and feeling very on trend.

I prefer to get my cashmere cheap or for free.  The cashmere pullover below is the same colour and style I rescued from the free textiles’ bin at the local charity shop.  It is an Ann Taylor brand.  It was in the free bin because it had lots of holes in it, however it appeared unworn because it was clean, and still had the designer tag attached to the label.

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Prior to tackling the visible mending [inspired by boro and sashiko] the  pullover was placed in a plastic bag in the freezer for 24 hours.  This process kills any moth eggs.  It was then hand washed in cool water and wool wash liquid.  The excess water was squeezed out of the pullover, by wrapping it in a towel.  The pullover was then dried flat.   The instructions stated dry clean only which RUDE Girl totally ignored.  I do not dry clean anything and have not done so for 20 years or more.

Using African waxed cotton fabric [image below], I cut out circles and have handstitched these over the holes.  The holes were stitched closed too.  I was initially going to darn the holes but I decided to add some colour and pattern to the pullover this way instead. 

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Circles cut from this fabric

 

My revamped pullover makes me smile.  It now has a story and is fun to wear.   It makes me happy that I have a piece of clothing that is warm, light and comfortable and it has cost me zilch.  And that I have rescued it from landfill fate, is the best feeling.

NB:  If you have not seen it already, there is a short video on RUDE’S Facebook page @ruderepair, of the pullover with holes,  prior to mending.

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Beat The Man by sourcing your own charity cashmere sweater.  This will help to prevent The Man from trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

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Venturesome Volunteers

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Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.   Gillian Anderson

RUDE volunteers our time on-line and in the community contributing in small ways to making things better.

Last week it was National Volunteer Week in Australia.  We both had a bit of a think about volunteering and what it means to us.  And we engaged in some discussions with others online.

Rude Record NVW 2016

We knew years ago that if we were going to volunteer it had to be different.  We did not want to work for a boss cocky [paid or unpaid] of the volunteer brigade.  We did not want to be scheduled and expected to work a roster.  We did not want to be volunteering creative ideas to an organisation, for some paid manager to claim as his/her own.

How were RUDE ever going to volunteer if we did not go along with the usual volunteer model.  We tried to ‘fit-in’ but it did not work.  Beat The Man types do not fit comfortably into a working for The Man model of volunteering.

As with all things RUDE undertakes, volunteering had to be rude around the edges.  We just decided to do it our way.  We are using the KISS [keep it simple silly] Principle.  We are happy to volunteer our time repairing things for targeted others.  All it takes is an email or telephone call by us or to us.  No meetings to discuss all the perceived issues before doing something.  Basically it’s about goodwill, reaching out and doing.

 

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Our volunteering is usually self initiated and self directed.  And our area of interest is repair, in an effort to keep well made and useful things out of landfill.  We also have the freedom to say no, if a request to volunteer does not suit us. 

We consider ourselves successful in many ways and do not expect anything in return.  There is little what’s in it for us, other than to share the joy of repair with others.  This gives us enormous satisfaction.  And we enjoy engaging with people minus any organisational agenda.

This week we went to Dimboola in Victoria where RUDE Boy volunteered his time to get a vintage printing machine operating.

This Sunday we are volunteering our time to travel to Toongabie in Victoria.  RUDE Boy will be assessing a printing machine that is being sold on the condition that it is repairable.

RUDE Boy went to visit a friend this week and his flat screen TV was on the floor and not working properly.  Danny assessed it all day yesterday, determining that it was overheating.  A simple fix requires him to drill holes in the back cover for air to pass through.

RUDE Girl volunteers her time to write about and video our venturesome volunteering stories.  I am keen to network with, and promote others who care enough to make things better.

In the photo above [and in this little 40 second video] RUDE Girl wears scavenger style.  I like to promote the reuse and repair of textiles on our travels.  My cloche hat is made from a fulled woollen cardigan.  All that I am wearing has been rescued from the textile bin at the point of landfill.  The cardigan has been patched and mended.

 

Beat The Man and consider venturesome volunteering!

Well Boro Me

 

 

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Image ‘boroed’ from football via @ www.theboydonegood.com

 

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

A quick Friday blog post from RUDE today with a video and photos.  RUDE Girl has finally finished the boro on RUDE Boy’s #3 Levi’s. 

This project was a labour of Levi’s love over 5-6 months.  It has been worth every stitch to keep these vintage jeans out of landfill.

Should any person ever call me impatient, I can produce the proof  x3 that Patience is my middle name. 

Beat The Man and boro [and borrow too]!

Check out the video here of RUDE Boy modelling his three pairs of red tab Levi’s, revamped with  RUDE Girl’s contemporary version of boro.

 

Below:  all photos  are close-ups of Levi’s #3


RUDE Girl is Administrator of a Boro group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1708758549337909/