The vintage craze has moved from Paris to Beirut, where four young fashionistas have started a recycled clothing line to break the stigma of second-hand shopping in the Arab world while helping impoverished women.

“Arab people generally prefer buying new clothes to show that they are fashionable and rich. But this way, we can offer a second chance for women to be independent, for clothes to be renovated, and for people to recycle“, says Hikmat Al-Khansa.

“We collect used clothes, clean them and remodel them with the help of unemployed women, who take free workshops to learn to sew and sell them”, she says. These novice designers learn with great enthusiasm and creativity both to make new clothes from scratch and to adapt and update vintage items according to their own lights.

Their Second Chance project started as a pilot for Haigazian University, but is now taking on life of its own as its founders have started receiving sponsorship offers. “This is going faster than we thought”, says Maha Mrad enthusiastically.

For more information, visit the Second Chance Project’s Page.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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