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As french as.....espadrilles

Grocery stores are a great window onto the "indispensables" and rhythms of french daily life.  I know summer is just around the corner because our local supermarket has just begun to offer espadrilles: your basic flat-footed jute and canvas shoes, right and left foot exactly the same, bound into a flat lengthy package by a rubber band. Single digit price, no fancy displays or packaging, just the dun-colored packages formed by the soles facing outwards but a range of colorful prints peeping out in-between. They epitomize french summer for me, provoking cliches of fragrant sun-drenched countrysides or sandy beaches. Espadrilles have fancy cousins in shoe stores and a long tradition as footwear and fashion according to Wikipedia. They last just one season, though they transition from looking perky enough to wear with a summer dress to shoes you prefer to hide except for the habit of their comfortable presence. I have always considered them ecologically acceptable as there are no complicated parts and they are all but "ripe" for the compost pile at the end of their lifetime.  But as french as they are for me, a look at the soles of my new shoes brings a harsh reality to light: made in Bangladesh.  I hope against reason that only the soles are imported.

 
 
 
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2018-06-18

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