Luxembourg Insider is a regular column that takes a deep dive into life as an expat in the Grand Duchy.
We have already covered where to get your shopping in if you don’t mind going to the bigger supermarkets, but where do you go for ethical, sustainable, and local products? Naturally all of the big supermarket chains will offer products that fall in one or several of these categories as well, they all have ‘bio’ (organic) foods, for instance, but there are plenty of shoppers out there who prefer a wider selection of local, 'ethical'*, and/or sustainable* foods and other products. So where might you find that in the Grand Duchy?
*I know these are debated terms with many and varying definitions. I'm opting for a fairly broad definition in this article, as essentially anything that aims to minimise negative impacts along the production chain.
My partner and I are personally trying to move into more sustainable (I’m going to use this as short form for sustainable/ethical/local moving forward) consumption wherever possible, so I know first hand that it’s not easy to find all of Luxembourg’s often hidden gems.
On that note, please consider this a work in progress and a collaborative effort – the list below will not by any means be exhaustive, as there are so many little shops, markets, and local producers that I simply will not have encountered yet. If you spot one (or several) that you think should be but are not yet on the list, feel free to drop us a comment or message on Facebook or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
To get us started, this guide will be broken down into two broad categories – food, and everything else (clothes, gifts). Let’s make like an egg and get cracking.
Food, glorious food
© Martin Jonsson
It has not been entirely easy deciding how to organise this category – should I group organic retailers into one category, local but perhaps not organic in another? Or would it make sense to do it by location, or just alphabetically? In the end, I’ve decided to go for two categories – physical shops, and companies that do weekly veg/fruit/food boxes That said, some do both, and you’ll find those in both categories.
Sustainable food shops
For a small country, Luxembourg has quite an impressive range of sustainable food shops. Some large, some small, all vendors of absolute deliciousness.
Ouni stands for “Organic Unpackaged Natural Ingredients,” and that is exactly what they sell. It also means "without" in Luxembourgish, so that worked out nicely. Ouni carries a broad range of products ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables, to grains, pasta, pulses, pastries, beer, wine, personal hygiene, and cleaning products – you name it, they’ll likely have it. All of their products are sold in bulk and without packaging, so you need to bring your own containers (bags, jars, Tupperware, etc.) and fill them up with whatever you wish to purchase. Of course Ouni also sell a range of reusable containers, and often have free jars available, if you forget to bring your own.
You can find out more about Ouni in our previous article and podcast episode, where I interviewed one of their employees.
Address: 55 rue Glesener, L-1631, Luxembourg City
I already mentioned Naturata in the earlier guide to supermarkets in Luxembourg, but they deserve a mention here as well. Naturata is a cooperative supermarket chain with 11 shops of various sizes in Luxembourg. Their biggest supermarket is, I believe, the one in Munsbach - though my personal favourite, which also happens to be the closest to where I live, is their shop in Rollingen. It's located on a farm, and is a great place to visit with kids as you can walk around and have a look at the farm itself and all its animals (cows, goats, chicken, etc.).
Naturalia is a French chain, not dissimilar to Naturata (and I'm not just talking about the name). They have one shop in Luxembourg, located in the Gare area of the City - so quite close to Ouni. They have a fairly wide range of products, and a good selection of bulk/package-free foods.
Address: 12-18 rue Joseph Junk, L-1839, Luxembourg City.
I have heard that this is Luxembourg's oldest bio/organic shop, but I can't say for sure. It's safe to say that it has been around for a while, however - their website says they've been serving customers for 48 years. This cosy shops sells organic food, fresh organic vegetables, bread and baked goods, cosmetics, and supplements. Definitely worth a visit!
Address: 9 rue Glesener, L-1631, Luxembourg City
Another small-ish local shop with a surprisingly large range of organic food, vegetables, pet food, supplements, cleaning products and more. This little shop was established in 1990 and can be found in the Bonnevoie area of town. Again, certainly worth a visit if you want to escape the big supermarket-feel.
Address: 1 rue August Charles, L-1326, Luxembourg City
Located in Howald, Nature Elements sells a wide range of organic products - ranging from food, to wines, cosmetics, and more. Unlike the majority of other shops they also have a small restaurant where they serve cooked meals and offer takeaway lunches. I am yet to try their Brunch buffet, but it looks rather promising!
Address: 17b rue des Joncs, L-1818, Howald.
I have not yet had the opportunity to visit Alavita myself, but it's certainly on my list (and not just this list, but my actual list of places to visit privately). Like many other shops in this article, they stock a wide range of locally sourced organic products - from fruit and vegetables to spices, drinks, and cosmetics.
Address: 7 rue Nicolas Glesener, L-6131, Junglinster.
Located in an actual farm on the countryside, you will struggle to find a more 'authentic' organic food shop. Like Nature Elements they also serve lunch, and as with so many of the shops listed here they have a broad range of organic products - all the way from fruit and vegetables to cosmetics and cleaning products, not to mention fresh baked goods.
Website: They don't have one, but they do have Facebook. Be warned, the photos they post will make you hungry.
Address: 93a rue du Kiem, L-8328, Capellen.
Les paniers de Sandrine
Want to buy seasonable produce straight from a farm? Well, then this is the place to go. The shop is only open Tuesdays and Fridays between 3pm and 7pm, but Sandrine also offers a veg box delivery service that you can subscribe to. Sandrine's focus is on growing and selling vegetables straight from her family farm, but she also works with other local suppliers (not all of whom produce organic food) to offer additional vegetables, honey, meats, and so on.
Address: 266 rue Principale, L-5366, Munsbach.
Co-Labor offers an impressive range of products that goes beyond organic food and includes gardening and other tools, plants, flowers, and even courses and workshops on landscaping, woodwork, cooking, and more. They also have a fresh food box (vegetables, fruit) subscription service, delivered straight to your door. My partner and I get their weekly vegetable box, and have been very happy with it so far. That said, there are lots of companies that do this and many of them only deliver within a specific area, so do research the best fit for you.
Address: 1A,Grevelsbarrière, L-8059, Bertrange.
There are lots of businesses in Luxembourg that delivery fresh fruit, vegetables, and often local meats, eggs, etc. As noted at the top of the article, this list will likely not be complete - so do let us know if I missed your favourite, and I will add it!
Le Chat Biotté
There are plenty of organic, fair trade, and sustainability-focused shops that don't sell food - but that doesn't make them any less important (just less delicious).
Located in Esch-sur-Alzette, Benu is a social initiative that strives to facilitate and promote the circular economy. They sell a range of clothes through their shop and at markets, all made from reused clothing that has been donated to them. The clothes are designed and sown in Luxembourg, and they are currently building "Benu Village" in Esch-sur-Alzette.
Naturwelten offer an impressive range of organic and fair trade products going all the way from mattress and bedding, to rugs, clothes, personal hygiene and kids products.
Address: They have two shops (children & babies, and living & sleeping). You can find both on their website.
Modu's motto is "Live consciously; Shop purposefully; Make a world a better place while looking and feeling good." That pretty much sums up what they do - it's a clothing and lifestyle shop located in the City.
Website: Themodushop.com (currently under construction)
Address: 9a Cote d'Eich, L-1450, Luxembourg City.
Akabobuttek and Akabobus
These guys offer organic, fair trade clothes and promote sustainable living and consumption. They do this through their shop (akabobuttek) and mobile shop (a fashion bus, if you will; Akabobus).
This online shop offers bodysuits for babies made using certified organic cotton, featuring illustrations by Luxembourgish illustrator Lynn Cosyn.
That's it, for now..
That covers the shops that I am familiar with, and which have been recommended to me for inclusion in this article. That said, it's far from finished and the list is certainly not exhaustive. If you have any shops that you think should be but are not on the list, let us know.
Martin Jonsson moved to Luxembourg in October in 2016, before which he lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, for 10 years. He's a freelance journalist and RTL Today contributor.