Episode 10: Repairing our Relationship to Stuff – Barnard College’s Sandra Goldmark Discusses Sustainability in the Context of Reuse, Repair, and Design

Sandra Goldmark, Barnard College and Fix-up Repair.

Sandra Goldmark, Barnard College and Fix-up Repair.

Guest: Sandra Goldmark
Director, Sustainability and Environment and Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre at Barnard College;
Co-Founder of Fixup.

Host: Dave Karlsgodt, Principal, Fovea, LLC

Production Assistance:
Sarah Barr and Cecilia Kane

Ever feel like you spend a fortune keeping up with the latest in tech, fashion, and other trends? Have more stuff at home than you know what to do with? In this episode, Sustainability Director at Barnard College Sandra Goldmark discusses our obsession with stuff, how overconsumption threatens our climate and natural resources, and how we might repair our global economic system to be better in-tune with our innate human values.

A set designer, Goldmark first noticed the scope of our problem with single use items in the context of theater where sets would be built, featured in a show for several nights, then go straight to the landfill. This inspired her to start a repair service called Fix-up. Business boomed and Goldmark learned people were willing to pay to get their old stuff fixed, sometimes as much as a new replacement would cost, prompting the very good question: why don’t major retailers offer product repairs?

Her work demonstrates how a practical repair service can prompt a deeper investigation into how our stuff defines our humanity, and how what we have says about who we are. A prime example of how a grassroots initiative can fill a gap in innovation, Goldmark challenges us to adopt an experimental approach to sustainability on both the individual and campus levels.

Join us this episode for a glimpse into Goldmark’s vision for a revamped global economy built on the principle of repair, beginning with fixing that old chair in your garage.

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Episode 10: Repairing our Relationship to Stuff - Transcript

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