“Fast fashion has a price”: Lët'z Refashion pop-up opens

Economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP) was present at the inauguration of the Lët'z Refashion pop-up store that took place on Monday 20 September at Royal Hamilius.  Abigail Okorodus/ Delano

Economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP) was present at the inauguration of the Lët'z Refashion pop-up store that took place on Monday 20 September at Royal Hamilius.  Abigail Okorodus/ Delano

Lët'z Refashion is the new pop-up store by Caritas Luxembourg at Royal Hamilius, which aims to raise public awareness and promote sustainable and ethical fashion in the grand duchy.

The store was inaugurated on Monday in the presence of development cooperation minister Franz Fayot (LSAP), the president of Caritas Luxembourg Marie-Josée Jacobs, CEO of Our Choice Fashion, Filip Westerlund, Caritas staff members and other visitors.

The project is part of the “Rethink your Clothes” campaign,  which was launched in 2018 with the support of the foreign ministry’s directorate for the cooperation of development and humanitarian aid, and is geared towards raising awareness on the social and ecological issues in the textile industry, which is a major contributor to climate change, way ahead of the aviation and shipping industry combined.

“The aim of the campaign is to be a reminder that fast fashion has a price,” Fayot said at the opening. The Rethink Your Clothes campaign was launched to mark the anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013, killing around 1,200 people.

During the press conference, Marie-Josée Jacobs said the organisation wanted to do its bit to raise awareness against the exploitation of labourers in the fast fashion industry by setting up the pop-up store in Luxembourg City.

The cheap price of fashion “is paid for by inhumane working conditions,” Fayot said, adding that the proximity of the pop-up store to big fashion brands benefitting from the industry was symbolic.

Fast fashion is also bad for the climate, Fayot said. “I’m convinced that we must all change our habits,” he said about the sustainable transition, “in the way we consume food, how we travel, how often we travel, and also how we dress.”

Besides offering sustainable fashion items to customers, Lët'z Refashion is driven by non-commercial objectives such as promoting slow fashion stakeholders working with upcycled and second-hand products in the grand duchy, and also organises workshops, where participants can learn about upcycling and ways to preserve clothing. The first sessions kicked off on 19 September and already has six people enrolled. The get-togethers are schedule for Thursdays and Saturdays.  

The textile industry is “extremely polluting,” said Fayot who came to the inauguration wearing sustainable sneakers by Our Choice and left wearing an upcycled bowtie put on him by Jacobs. He stressed that a change of lifestyle is required even with technological innovations, and that we should all think about how many clothes we buy, where from, how we can reuse and recycle them. 

Founder of the sustainable sneakers brand, Westerlund encouraged all sneaker lovers to come by the store, have a look, try them on and also order online. He added that his vision is “to see more circular sneakers walking in the streets of Luxembourg… I feel like there’s such a warm community in Luxembourg when it comes to sustainability, the circular economy and fashion, and so my vision is for us all to do this in a very mindful way.”

He also highlighted the importance of educating more people, adding that “education is key when it comes to sustainable consumption,” while also commending Caritas and the support of the ministry.

Speaking about the upcoming launch of his e-commerce portal, a platform dedicated to the sale of only circular brands, Westerlund highlighted the benefits this will have for sellers, who will be able to cut marketing costs and reach the target audience easily, but also for consumers who can be certain that they are buying “circular sustainable and traceable fashion.”

The sneakers are available from 21 September through to March 2022 at the store. More details on the workshops will be made available on the associations website (in French) and Instagram.