Sara Gilissen

Meet the expert: Sara Gilissen, project coordinator

Sara Gilissen (°1981)
Function: Project coordinator at UCLL
Place of residence: Alken
Children: Matteo (12), Sverre (10), Elias (4)

Favorite place in the Euregio: “Haspengouw. Also known as ‘Tuscany of the North’. Because there are so many beautiful places to walk and cycle. During the lockdown, it was a great luxury to have so much beauty so close.”

What is your favorite (design) design, product (in your life/work/interior)? And why?
“Our garden and courtyard garden.” Outside” i think is as important as inside. After all, we are not made to sit between four walls all day.”

I dream of this design product or item and hope to have it someday:

A clothing library,but in Hasselt with Belgian designers
sustainable brands.

For myself because I like to alternate in clothes, but do not want to buy any more garments. And I think more and more people are looking for alternatives to the ‘fast fashion’.”

Les ReBelles d’Anvers, a fashion library started in 2015 by Veerle Spaepen and Emelie Vervecken.

I find this inspiring
design story/

“I’m a jbc fan because it’s a family business and has been investing in sustainability for a long time. Moreover, they are very accessible to all families.
They now want to make all garments traceable online; where the raw materials come from and where the garments are made.

Transparency is very important and I think more and more people are going to appreciate it. Not all in fashion, but in all sectors.”

This is an inspiring book that everyone should have read:

Cradle to cradle – Remaking the way we make things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

It is especially a warm plea to do a lot better on an ecological level rather than ‘a little less bad’.

I also love to read novels
and these are my recent favorite books:

De stilte van de vrouwen
Pat Barker
about the mythical Trojan war told from the point of view of women.

Het zoutpad
Raynor Winn
about a couple who lose almost everything and therefore go hiking the centuries-old South West Coast Path on the south coast of England.

My abandonment
Peter Rock
based on a true story about a father and his 13-year-old daughter living in the woods.

These are the movies, tv shows, websites/links, podcasts that I myself loved
and i wish someone had tipped me off much earlier:

Silence is not an option’(podcast and video) in which Tom Mahy and Anthony Bosschem have conversations with people who want to change the world. You hear people who don’t come up everywhere and who have something to say. In addition, guests are given time to share their story.


These are must follows online (instagram/linkedin/blogs/websites)

Flanders Circular
Mc Arthur Foundation

Because they all bring examples of companies that work successfully circularly. It is sometimes spectacular to see how far some companies are, and that is very inspiring.

This is an inspiring quote or beautiful life motto:

“Let’s put the RE
back into resource”

William Mc Donough

That is what our interreg project is all about: bringing materials back into the life course and/or keeping them in the loop.

I wish the world

Positive activism.
One person or one company can make a difference. We should not wait for the whole system to change.