Credit: © Charly Ecko Delta

Caritas Luxembourg has announced that Arinze Umeh won the Luxembourg Upcycling Challenge.

After ten weeks of creativity and hard work, the Luxembourg Upcycling Challenge finally has its winner: Arinze Umeh won the hearts of the jury with his "exceptional" box jacket.

As Caritas explained, this competition, conducted as part of the Rethink Your Clothes campaign, aimed to promote new talents in the field of upcycling and demonstrate the importance and impact of this sustainable technique. It thus actively contributes to a circular economy in Luxembourg.

Out of the eighteen participants who submitted their creation on 1 June 2024, it was Arinze's "meticulous work" and "unique design" that stood out.

The jury, made up of personalities from the fashion world, was unanimous in its decision. The members of the jury were: Anatoli Papadopoulou, head of the costume, props and makeup department of the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Johanna Body, stylist working with young people in the workshops of the National Youth Service (SNJ); Kevin Grisez, founder of The Vintage Store, specialist in American vintage fashion; Natascha Bintz, content creator and activist for sustainable fashion; Elisabeth Adams, head of Lëtz Refashion by Caritas, the centre for sustainable fashion in Luxembourg.

Commenting on his achievement, winner Arinze Umeh said: "I have always had a passion for reworking my clothes since I was a child, and I generally receive a lot of positive feedback regarding my work. I'm always curious to create something unique. From the beginning when I arrived in Luxembourg, I looked for this kind of opportunity to show my talent and also contribute to the country and society."

Caritas reported that the jury was impressed by the finesse of the production and the originality of the design of Arinze's jacket, describing it as a masterpiece thought out down to the smallest detail. They expressed their hope that this success will help Arinze launch his "arispecies" brand in Luxembourg.

The winner will benefit from a personal workshop with Natascha Bintz on the topic of brand building and a professional photo session with Eilijah Photography.

The winning jacket will be put on sale at the Lët'z Refashion centre, allowing Arinze to benefit from the profits from this sale.

On Saturday 15 June 2024, a fashion show was held at the Cloche d'Or, where all the jackets from the competition were presented to the public. The finalists' works, including Arinze's winning jacket, will also be on display at Lët'z Refashion until Saturday 13 July 2024. This exhibition offers the public the opportunity to discover the talent of the participants and to be inspired by the art of upcycling.

Lët'z Refashion is an initiative of Caritas Luxembourg, launched as part of the Rethink Your Clothes campaign, which started in 2018. Implemented by Caritas Luxembourg and the NGO Fairtrade Lëtzebuerg, this campaign is supported by Luxembourg Aid & Development and aims to raise awareness and encourage sustainable fashion.