The United Repair Center is the latest venture in Amsterdam's efforts to become one of the world's first fully circular cities. Set up last September with support from the city government and outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, the center employs around 20 full-time workers to repair ripped or broken clothing that would otherwise be dumped in the bin. Run as a for-profit social enterprise, the center's goals are as much social as they are circular. Everyone on the company's books is an economic migrant or refugee – or, as the initiative's Brazilian co-founder, Thami Schweichler, prefers to say, a "newcomer." Some employees come with prior tailoring experience and on-the-job training is provided for those who don't. Currently, the center is repairing about 25,000 items per year, which would otherwise be thrown away. Plans are in the works to open a second facility in the UK city of Leeds.

Read Full Story