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Germany

Want To Wear Sustainability On Your Sleeve? Rent A Sweater

In the Netherlands, a growing movement to lease clothing rather than piling up ever more cheaply-made, environmentally damaging jeans, shirts and sweaters.

Mud Jeans founder Bert van Son
Mud Jeans founder Bert van Son
Sonja Salzburger

A T-shirt for 4.99 euros, jeans for 9.99. With bargain-basement prices like that, many discount retailers keep their customers buying and buying. On average, every German and Dutchman owns seven pairs of jeans, and Germans buy between 12 and 15 kilos of clothing per year. It would seem that shopping bags full-to-bursting with clothes are balm for the soul.

But Bert van Son wants to change all that. This Dutchman believes you don’t need a lot of clothes to be well turned out, and why buy the stuff anyway when you could rent it?

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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