The ‘Gent Repareert’ (Ghent Repairs), cafés composed by volunteers, contribute to spread the reuse of textile across Ghent.
Ghent’s ambitions for a circular transition are stipulated in the city’s Climate Action Plan 2020-2025. Building on a tradition of participation, the city of Ghent is taking action in collaboration with the private sector, the port, the university and its citizens.
The Climate Action Plan aims to speed up the transition to a circular economy through actions including reinforcing small-scale circular initiatives in the city, and scaling up the circular economy through the Ghent Cleantech Regional Cluster, a partnership with the port, the university, Cleantech Flanders and the provincial government.
The City in partnership with the local waste company IVAGO and the Public Centre for Social Welfare OCMW, joined forces to spread awareness about Repair Cafés under the name of ‘Gent Repareert’ (Ghent Repairs). In these cafés volunteers help repair items such as electronics, furniture, bicycles and textiles. The repair, unless a change is needed, is totally free and no previous reservation is needed to join the Repair Cafés.
Following the success of the Repair Cafés, further initiatives are being developed such as Klusserette.
The Klusserette is the new neighborhood workshop in the Dampoort district, which also houses the Pastory lending service. The aim is to borrow tools and gardening equipment, but now also to children's bikes, repair broken appliances or pass on usable tools and clothes to a neighbor.
All textiles and clothing, shoes, belts, bags and other fabrics in good condition and clean are allowed, including rags, textiles with minor defects and soft toys.
What happens to the textiles?
After sorting, usable clothing is given a second life in recycling stores and in developing or emergency areas.
What is no longer usable serves as raw material for insulation material, felt board, hardboard, cleaning rags and some types of paper, among other things.
Ghent is a member of the Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability. As a member of the ICC, Ghent benefits from the European Commission's initiative, which supports cities across Europe in their transition towards greener and more digital local economies through Local Green Deals. Additionally, as a member of ICLEI, Ghent actively contributes to a global network of over 2500 local and regional governments that are dedicated to driving sustainable urban development.