Where do umbrellas go when they die?


I have quite a few umbrellas that are defunct now, (in the old days there used to be a special workshop to take them to re resuscite them). now…i d like to re cycle them and do not know how. Any ideas ?


I remember back in Bucharest in the 90s there were numerous tiny shops that were specialised in fixing zippers, umbrellas and watches. There needs to be a comeback.
Interesting list here: https://www.yelp.co.uk/search?find_desc=umbrella+repair&find_loc=London


Lmao, amazing title :see_no_evil:

I have absolutely no recollection of specialist umbrella-fixing shops… is it a Romanian thing? :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s a nice umbrella upcycling ideas list here - some of the ideas are cuuute, some… not so much (e.g. “skeleton photo mobile”) :grin:


You may have missed them Sarah :child:

In the last 15-20 years the rise of producing cheaper and cheaper items made this sort of fixing shops obsolete, as people prefer to chuck them away and buy a new one instead (exactly as unethical manufacturers want us to do).

However, as we become wiser about the throwaway culture and its impact on the planet and on ourselves, these sort of repair shops will hopefully make a comeback.

Much love and respect for these guys:


I would go and ask those working in the repair shops (any kind of repair) in your area if they need them. They can reuse parts. Or take them to that Junk Shop http://www.junkshopandspreadeagleantiques.co.uk/ in Greenwich. Not sure if they need them, but they might have better suggestions :slight_smile:

Or maybe find some local upcyclers :smiley:

And I suggest buying a good umbrella. It must be 7 years since I got the one I’m using now. It’s in my bag all the time. Windproof and all :slight_smile:


and i learned what it means Lmao

maybe there used to be more fixing shops in Scotland, as they are more thrifty by nature. But Cata is right, w see now the
absolute reign of discarding objects without that determination, that bit of stubbornness, of inventiveness and ultimately self’reliance that fixing represents. All good qualities.


Cory Doctorow has written frequently over many years about the right to open, repair, and tinker with your own electronic devices. He has and/or does work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The topics are explored in his young adult novels too.


Can you recommend any of the books?! :smiley:


@sarah, I would recommend his young adult novels Little Brother and Pirate Cinema. They both demonstrate creative ingenuity reusing existing tech, questioning authority, and fighting oppression. Little brother has been quite successful. There are two sequels and a stage adaptation.

The books are under a creative commons license so you can download them for free as ebooks if you wish. Craphound is Cory Doctorow‘s own website – just in case you think the domain name looks a little dodgy to click ;-). It’s most legit.




tysm :relaxed: !

“I write about my formula for creating fiction about technology that stays relevant — the secret is basically to assume that people will be really stupid about technology for the foreseeable future.” – I like this guy’s philosophy! :smiley:


I live in Boston (incredibly windy) so I see a lot of dead umbrellas in public trash cans — they definitely fall into a category where they’re manufactured cheaply, are less durable, and are more often thrown away completely as a result. On a rainy/windy day here it would be very easy to take a walk downtown and round up a dozen discarded umbrellas.

Are there umbrellas that are known for being modular or easy to self-repair?


Hey Kris :relaxed:

A quick search unearthed this, but I don’t think it’s yet a reality :sob:


If umbrellas really have no life in them any more and can no longer be repaired, you can turn the fabric into all sorts of things - for example, drawstring bags for carrying wet swimming things… pencil cases or school bags for kids (especially if they are brightly coloured)… another cool use for umbrella (or old tent fabric, for example) is to use it to create the pockets for a vertical garden, either an entirely fabric one to hang on a wall or door, or to create the planting areas in a vertical garden made from an old wood pallet…


vertical garden! :heart_eyes_cat: