Luxembourg Upcycling Initiative
LUI - Luxembourg Upcycling Initiative, is a project by Caritas Luxembourg with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development. The purpose of the project is to create objects of use out of local discarded workwear, thereby reducing Co2 emissions following a circular economy approach by repurposing materials still in good conditions.
The idea of reusing uniforms stems from the expertise and networks acquired by Plaidons Responsable in the garment sector since 2018. Plaidons Responsable is an initiative by Caritas which aims to support vulnerable people in Luxembourg and elsewhere.
By fighting climate change at national level and promoting sustainable consumption in the textile sector, Caritas Luxembourg not only acts for social inclusion in Luxembourg, but also contributes to limiting CO2 emissions to reduce the impact of our consumption patterns at national scale.
The aim of LUI is to recycle uniforms, thereby promoting eco-responsibility and sustainability in the textile sector in Luxembourg.
The project encompasses the following points:
Recovering uniforms destined to be thrown away and destroyed (e.g. from the army, police, fire brigade, Post Luxembourg or even private companies), giving them a second life and using them as raw material for other textile products;
To work on prototypes allowing the raw materials to be reused as much as possible and minimise textile waste production.
Global and national context
The equivalence of 4 billion tonnes of CO2 are emitted every year by the textile industry (clothing and footwear) worldwide. It represents more than the impact of international flights and maritime traffic combined.
By 2050, the textile sector could even be responsible for 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions if current consumption trends continue as is.
According to a study by the LIST on decarbonisation in Luxembourg, purchasing clothes represents 621 kg of CO2 equivalent* per person per year, making it the consumption goods category generating the most CO2 equivalent, well ahead of furniture (332 kg), hygiene (322 kg) and electronics and technology (259 kg).
LUI contributes to the third priority of the 3rd National Plan for Sustainable Development (PNDD), "promoting sustainable consumption and production" and to achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular objective 12: "responsible consumption and production".
Given the significant impact of the production and distribution of textiles on the climate, the action also represents an important climate action and thus contributes to priority 8 of the PNDD "Protect the climate, adapt to climate change and ensure sustainable energy" and by extension to objective no. 13, "take urgent measures to combat climate change and its impacts" by 2030.
*CO2 equivalent: a unit of measurement that is used to standardise the climate effects of various greenhouse gases.