Reducing and minimising waste by reusing old products is the key concept behind The ReMakery – an upcycle shop and community space set to open in central Whangarei.

"We are aware of how much is thrown out because people done have the skills, knowledge and understanding to repair and fix things," says Carina Dickson, the general manager of Habitat for Humanity Northland which is driving The ReMakery.

"We also want it to be a social enterprise that puts a profit back into the community," she says.


Repurposed goods – everything from clothes, furniture and artworks – will be sold with profits going to Habitat for Humanity's work creating homes for those in need.

It is a good fit, with Habitat already running a second-hand store in Kioreroa Rd, Carina says.

"What we see often is stuff going to the dump that could've been donated to us or things that, if it had a simple repair, it would be fine."

The ReMakery provides a space for all sorts of community workshops, where people can learn how to make and repair goods – from making compost to home repairs.

Once a month, a "RePair Cafe" will be held – where volunteer experts help teach people how to repair their belongings.

"What really appeals to me is, if you've got something that's broken, then someone will teach you how to fix it, and then you can take those skills and share them with others," Carina says.

The project is well supported by the community, including sponsorship from Sky City and Whangarei District Council, plus partnerships with a number of organisations to run workshops.

The ReMakery open day on February 16 will include a Kombucha workshop, a Sew Good community sewing workshop and a sausage sizzle to raise money for Habitat's work in Fiji.