Belgium gets a new fashion label and training studio: REantwerp

Founders Tim van Steenbergen, Benoît Bethume and Ruth Goossens want to write a new story with REantwerp. The brand and training studio stand for a slower pace, a more sustainable product, local anchoring, social connection and more attention to craft and the makers. FashionUnited asks a few questions in writing before the festive launch of the company on September 21.

The company is located on Jef Cassiersstraat in Antwerp.

REantwerp works with residual materials and items from Belgian designers and labels. How does that work, are there certain agreements with the brands about this?

When we started REantwerp, we first contacted the creative sector. The Belgian designers and labels were immediately very enthusiastic about this project. Many of them still have a lot of residual materials and clearly also have a big heart. They donate these materials, but probably some of them will also work together in the future on a project with our students. Ideally, our students will also move on to these labels or other players in the textile sector. We will keep them informed of interesting profiles for their label.

Do we understand that REantwerp will focus exclusively on upcycling?

Almost all our pieces are indeed made from residual materials or pieces with a production error. Only our basic T-shirt line and sweater line on which we print via a local screen printing company are new T-shirts, these come from Stanley/Stella, a Belgian label that only works with Gots-certified cotton and has a Fair Wear label.

In the middle co-founder Tim van Steenbergen. Van Steenbergen is responsible for training. Credits: REantwerp

How do you view the textile upcycling market in Belgium? Where do you think the market stands?

European legislation will become stricter in the coming years in the context of the Green Deal, and a lot still needs to be done. Both brands and consumers will have to adapt. There will therefore also be a need for specialized workers; this may become a bottleneck profession, because there are hardly any training courses left. There is also still a lot of evolution needed on a technical level. Initiatives such as Cilab (a circular textile collection, ed.) are desperately needed.

Many of our designs also have a pattern incorporated for a second life (an oversized shirt can become a slim fit with a few simple adjustments, wide trousers become carrot pants, for example).

What aesthetic look is the brand going for with the pieces? Is there a specific design direction we can expect?

We position ourselves in the designer fashion segment. Our students learn that finish and quality are very important and we prepare them for a job in the Belgian fashion sector. At each ‘drop’ we work on a ‘classic’ (for example trousers), which are rather basic and it is mainly the exercise for the students that is important. In addition, there is always the ‘creative crossover’, where, for example, we focus on the fabrics (beautifully combining two residual materials) and/or we use the inspiration (techniques or specialties) of the refugees. That could be the cut or embroidery or something else. We also want to enter into collaborations with designers, so that our students also learn these techniques (drapage, prints, knitting).

The REantwerp studio. Credits: REantwerp

Are the items also sold on location, or possibly via a website or via third parties?

For the time being, we consciously sell in the studio. For the time being only days announced in advance, in the future it will be continuous. This way, the consumer gets to know the person behind the garment, the employees can explain their garment or adjustments can be made. We will probably not do this through third parties, unless as a special project or collaboration with a designer or shop. A website may be something for the long term, but we still have to study a lot about how we can do this as sustainably as possible.

The fashion brand also has a training workshop. Who is eligible to be trained there and how can someone apply? How long does the training last or is this period infinite?

This is actually the most important part of the project. Refugees or people with a great distance to the labor market are prepared here for our Belgian fashion sector. They must already have experience in the textile sector, we are not a school, we do not have the resources or space for that. We work under the wings of GATAM vzw, they guide foreign-speaking newcomers, subsistence earners, etc. to the labor market. They have contacts in asylum centers, public center for social welfare (OCMW), Flemish employment and vocational training service (VDAB), etc. and search for profiles through these channels. How long the training lasts depends on the employee’s status. This can vary from a few weeks to a year. We refine their techniques, teach them how to collaborate and how to speak Dutch and see what they are good at and what job in the fashion sector they would be suitable for. We then put them in touch with labels or companies.

Source: by

*The article has been translated based on the content of by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!