We must take responsibility for our habits and accept that with every disposable t-shirt we buy, we are making a political statement
My grandparents live in a small village in the south of France where they grow most of the fruit and vegetables they eat. They raise their own chickens, pigeons, and rabbits. As a child, I spent most of my summers in their house helping them feed the animals, collect the eggs, and water the garden. One lunchtime, I cooked them a "stone soup" -- my first culinary experiment -- made of well water, stones, soil, and grass. From the glass wall at the back of their house, hilly vineyards and garrigue unfolded into the distance.
Today, that land is covered by rows of identical prefab houses. The butcher, who used to drive from Lozère to deliver his meat, no longer makes the trip. Where once there were three bakeries, only one remains. The little grocery store is gone. These days, my grandparents drive to the local "megamarket," Carrefour, to buy their butter. The tailor also closed, and the cobbler. More and more, people come to live in this village because the housing is more affordable than in Montpellier.
They buy their clothes and shoes at H&M and Zara. These cheap, poor-quality clothes satisfy a desire to wear what is hip in any given season, leading us to follow fashion dictates rather than create our own style. We find ourselves at parties wearing the same clothes, and, when they deteriorate, we throw them away rather than repair them, as once our grandmothers would have.