Second hand as a first choice?

The “Imaginarium- Youth for Sustainable Futures” project prototypes developed by the participants are present at the Pop-Up Store in Esch sur Alzette this week!

Stephen and Olya, two of the youth project members, have been working hard on setting up the space and talking with locals and youth alike who have come into the space. Are you curious about what their experience has been?

We spoke a bit with Olya on Wednesday to see how things have evolved over the course of the project. First question was about her experience so far and what challenges or surprises have come up and was happy to hear that the process has been smooth! Olya herself was surprised about how smooth things went and contributes quite a bit of it to the excellent facilitation. (Piotr was mentioned specifically ;)) Another surprise mentioned was how the project started with one result of user interviews but ended up with another after a more extensive interview process occurred. Good confirmation that representation counts! 

What does the future of the Second Hand Mall look like? What are the hopes of Stephen and Olya and the other project members, for this project?  There has definitely been a revelation of sorts.  There is a growing interest in having a location for second hand goods but it seems, due to a lack of exposure for existing opportunities, that there is little actual urgency being built. It’s still easier for youngsters to buy from H&M or Ikea. While some students, temp workers or volunteers would like to have certain products available for rent or trade, lack of accessibility and knowledge of platforms and locations are proving to be a bottleneck. 

So what are the findings so far?

One of the major takeaways is that the users originally identified as most receptive to a second hand mall, students/temporary workers/volunteers, might not be the group that would best activate the project, even if they are the ones who would seem to benefit the most from it.

Another takeaway is that there is still the need to address what happens to all the new goods being bought by this temporary population, once they leave? Where does it go? Olya felt that, during her time working on this project, she learned quite a bit about the process of evaluating assumptions, her own and those of the people around her with regards to ideals vs reality. She has hopes that the foundation of upcycling, recycling, refurbishment, repair and trading or even borrowing will continue to grow. She finds that she has a stronger conviction to look for second hand items of all sorts, before buying new. 

The project prototype will be open fro testing till Saturday 2.04.2022 in the Pop Up Shop in Esch-sur-Alezette (121 Rue de l’Alzette, 4011 Esch-sur-Alzette)

The project is financed by Fonds National de la Recherche and Losch Foundation

Text: Laura Hurst