Ethical shopping in Luxembourg Social commitment and eco-responsibility to foster a fairer society and reduce the impact on our planet

The protection of human rights and the environment are major challenges for our society and many citizens are playing an active role on a daily basis. Ethical shopping is one of the first steps that a caring consumer can take in order to bring about change. Follow us on a journey of ethical food and clothes shopping in Luxembourg: we can point you in the right direction in terms of good ideas, shops and positive initiatives and help you to embrace social engagement and eco-friendly consumer choices.

Local, seasonal, organic and fair - the food on our plate

We eat several times a day, so the choices we make concerning the food we buy and cook have an immediate impact on the environment. Sustainable food refers to the consumption of local and seasonal produce from fair trade, organic or integrated agriculture.

Buying local and seasonal products on fresh markets is a first step towards an eco-friendly plate.
© Peter Wendt, Unsplash

Where can I buy local and seasonal products? Fresh produce markets sell seasonal fruit, fresh vegetables and locally sourced meat which will make your mouth water! It's an ideal solution for ethical shoppers. In Luxembourg City, the Stater Maart (on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Place Hamilius) the Bouneweger Maart (on Tuesdays, Place Léon XIII) are the largest local markets. Also, the Glacismaart is open every third Sunday of the month, from March to November.

If you're looking for fair trade products, Gringgo is the place to go! Its produce is available via its website gringgo.lu. Following its motto 'Don't wait, act', the cooperative is a marketplace for suppliers and, above all, consumers who are looking to embrace a fairer form of trade. Herbal teas, pasta, tinned organic vegetables, oils or honey, among others items, are available online. You can opt for healthier food choices while supporting the regional economy and nurturing social cohesion.

OUNI, the first packaging-free organic grocery shop, has shops in Luxembourg City and Dudelange.
© Chambre de commerce, all rights reserved

If you're searching for package-free organic products, just pop into OUNI – an acronym for 'Organic Unpackaged Natural Ingredients' which also means 'without' in Luxembourgish. This grocery store has shops in Luxembourg City and Dudelange. It is an ecological alternative to conventional supermarkets. Now you can do your shopping without producing any waste! Just fill up your own containers with the products sold in bulk, for example. The cooperative essentially gets its supplies from local producers who comply with organic agriculture standards.

Working together to tackle food waste

Did you know that one-third of food produced globally is wasted? At the same time, approximately one billion people across the world suffer from hunger. Besides the moral obligation to tackle this affliction, we must not ignore the ecological scale of the problem. In fact, one third of all cultivable land is exploited unnecessarily, with huge amounts of water wasted: up to 250km3 per year! On top of that figure, let us not forget the 3.3 gigatonnes of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

What can we do? The website of the Anti-gaspi (Anti-waste) project offers tips on how to reduce your food waste on a daily basis; for example, plan your shopping trip in advance; don't break the cold chain and keep your refrigerator clean and tidy as food will last longer.

© Ministère de l'Agriculture, de la Viticulture et de la Protection des consommateurs, all rights reserved

Finished shopping? It's time to cook and recycle properly

An anti-waste approach to purchasing should be supplemented by good habits in the kitchen, for example:

  • Re-using leftovers creatively to make other meals using these anti-waste recipes.
  • Put on lid on it! When boiling water, put a lid on your pot as you will save time and use less energy!
  • Sort your waste, including biodegradable waste, which can be composted.

Second-hand offers a second life to clothes

Have you ever wondered where, how and by whom your clothes are made? In our global world, our clothes make a long journey, which is not always easy to follow, before they reach the shops. Furthermore, the social and environmental challenges of the global textile industry are immense.

Rana Plaza tragedy: the collapse of the building in Dhaka (Bangladesh), housing several garment factories, left more than 1,200 dead and 2,000 injured. It was the trigger for an international movement against fast fashion.
Photo: Sharat Chowdhury, Wikimedia, CC Attribution 2.5 Generic

An industry that exploits its workers and pollutes the planet

Of the 60 million people working in manufacturing, 80% are exploited women who receive extremely low wages, no social protection or cover and are often exposed to toxic substances. Moreover, fashion industry is one of the heaviest polluters in the world. Did you know, for example, that the intensive use of fertilisers or the monoculture of cotton, which uses a lot of water, has a negative impact on biodiversity and underground fauna?

On its website, the Rethink Your Clothes campaign raises awareness and sounds the alarm on fast fashion, which has had a profound impact on the clothing-consumption habits of millions of people in recent years: trends are constantly changing, clothes are only kept for a few months and consumers are constantly pushed to buy more... What can we do? Consume less and make more ethical choices!

Currently, slow fashion offers various alternatives: vintage, second-hand, rental and labelled clothing, such as Fairtrade certified products.

Fast fashion pollutes: it is estimated that 50 tubs of water are needed to produce one pair of jeans!
© Ian Deng Quddu, Unsplash
Vintage and second hand, ecological and responsible alternatives to fast fashion.
© Chloe Evans, Unsplash

In Luxembourg, second-hand clothes shops have the wind in their sales. Here is a small selection:

  • First & Second Hand Concept Luxembourg (in Belair, Luxembourg City) offers high-end clothing, with a wide range of handbags.
  • Royal Second Hand also sells clothes, shoes and second-hand bags from leading brands. The shop is located in the upper town of Luxembourg City.
  • Trouvailles, as its name indicates, is brimming with good deals in its 300m2 shop in the Station area in Luxembourg city.
  • At the Lena Second Hand Shop in Limpertsberg, Luxembourg City, you can buy and sell your second-hand clothes.
  • The shop Pilea blends sustainable fashion, organic fashion and homemade cakes. You can enjoy a tasty coffee while having a chat with Laure, the founder, about the adverse problems and consequences of the fashion industry. Pilea is located in the station area in Luxembourg City.
  • Pardon My Closet embraces the philosophy of the circular economy by offering second-hand clothing in its pop-up stores. The shop intends to launch its website soon to facilitate online purchases.
  • Are you searching for a good selection of vintage items from the 1950 to the 2000s? Then take a look at AA in Fentange. 'AA' stands for Alessia and Anne, aka the 'awesome alienz'. Their shop showcases a wide range of clothing; it's an 'AA'mazing experience!

Donate your clothes and contribute to a good cause

Perhaps you don't feel like buying but would like to donate your clothes to a good cause? Through your purchases, would you like to support a non-profit organisation? Is this possible?

Of course! The second-hand shop Vintage Mo(o)d is a project launched in 2016 by the Red Cross Luxembourg. It sells donated second-hand clothes. The shop is located in Livange; it is open to the general public and the organisation, using the proceeds of its sales, buys clothes more adapted to those in need. 12 collection points are situated throughout the country to facilitate donations.

For its part, Caritas Luxembourg has a network of second-hand clothes shops called the Kleederstuff, which accept donations in kind. The profits generated from sales are used to finance the associations projects in Luxembourg. The shops are located in Esch-sur-Alzette, Diekirch in Rédange.