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Lucie Basch (Too Good To Go): “Luxury is choosing quality ingredients”

“I’m never asked about luxury,” remarks Lucie Basch, the emblematic co-founder of the Too Good To Go application. “I find the question interesting if we take the trouble to redefine it!” Unsurprisingly, this entrepreneur engaged in the fight against food waste in more than fourteen countries in Europe, and recently in the United States, does not have a materialistic definition of luxury.

In 2016, after studying at Centrale Lille, she left to work in Scandinavia. France has just voted the law against food waste: in the process, it launches the application with its partners met on the spot and returns to Paris to develop the company there. “In previous years, I spent a lot of time in northern Norway. I tasted the happiness of living surrounded by intense natural elements, of contemplating the fjords and the northern lights.” Despite an exciting project, returning to the capital is difficult. “I love the city, but I felt like a lion in a cage! There is so much noise that we no longer hear our primary needs.”

Time and authenticity

“The luxury I would most like to give myself would be time!” proclaims the busy entrepreneur. She also has fun with this paradox while nevertheless remaining benevolent with herself: “Today, we throw away 40% of the food produced, so I am aware of being caught between two injunctions: slow down for me and speed up for the planet. I decided to fly only for business trips and I stopped eating meat. At Too Good To Go, our philosophy is not to judge ourselves, but to s inspire each other: everyone is different, and the important thing is to progress at your own pace. Each year, the company’s carbon footprint is positive!”

This tolerance is transformed into total incomprehension in the face of the actors of the luxury industry, whom she considers “in total denial” in the face of the ecological emergency. “If financial performance remains the first indicator, we won’t succeed! To build the world of tomorrow, the new sustainable performance measures – accounting, ecological and social – on which Emmanuel Faber is working, for example, [ex-PDG de Danone désormais à la tête de l’International Sustainability Standards Board, NDLR]should be the norm.”

To these objective standards, Lucie Basch adds an essential in her eyes: authenticity. “Luxury is choosing quality ingredients that come from producers with whom a relationship of trust has been established; hypernutritive food, good for health and the planet.” In terms of gastronomy, the movement is already underway with representatives of great French chefs such as Thierry Marx, whom the entrepreneur asked to preface the book she co-authored, Le Guide anti-gaspi. “He impresses me with his commitment,” she adds.

Lucie Basch is also involved in projects to change consciences. Thus the operation “Use your senses” launched last year, the objective of which is to explain to consumers the difference between the date of consumption and that of minimum durability. It allows you to sell a product up to three months after the date indicated: “More than 300 million packages have already been modified!” A great victory for those who, on a daily basis, aspire to an accessible luxury, such as the purchase of an electric bicycle to save their own energy.


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