The circular economy shopping centre Yuman Village has just opened its doors in Brussels, a stone’s throw from the luxury boutiques on Avenue Louise… on the Chaussée de Charleroi (n°123). The place was not chosen at random: it is an old garage that has been transformed into a sustainable shopping centre. A 800 m² sales area. The concept,” explains Christel Droogmans, co-founder of Yuman Village,”is to bring together in a single place players in the circular economy who offer recycling, upcycling and second-hand products. The idea here is to allow the consumer to consume differently and in a “one stop” way. That is, by giving the consumer the opportunity to make a large part of his non-food purchases in the same place.
As for upcycling, it is a process that consists in recovering materials that are no longer needed to transform them into products with added value. There, for Father’s Day, Yuman Village sells cups made from wine bottles, coasters made from leather recovered from old armchairs, belts made from tires.
Available product ranges
On the spot, the consumer will find clothes, cosmetics, household linen, decoration… But also services, for example, a brand specialising in the rental of clothing for pregnant women. But the place is intended to develop beyond trade. “We want to give customers a real experience,” explains Christel Droogmans,”so in a second phase, we will also offer them something to eat on site, workshops, conferences, exhibitions…”
The economic model
Yuman Village combines both purchases from suppliers and the rental of a sales space to creators who are in line with the logic of the place, as explained by the company’s other co-founder, Quentin de Crombrugghe: “We have about fifty suppliers with whom we work, mainly in cosmetics, zero waste and decoration. And then we actually buy the stock we need from them. In addition, we have about fifteen partners, Belgian designers, quite a few from Brussels in fact, who are present at Yuman Village in the form of a sale deposit, so they own their stock and pay an amount for their presence in our space. “
And it is true that some products are not manufactured here. The fact is that the founders of Yuman did not find in Belgium all the products they wanted to put in their assortment, so they had to decide to import certain things.