Gagnant-gagnant

vintage picture of women pulling luggage cartThe French expression gagnant-gagnant (gan-yahn gan-yahn) means “win-win.” A big gagnant-gagnant for me is being paid to be in Paris during the summer sales! As I’ve mentioned, this year my gagnant-gagnant will be being paid to explore a new part of the world, which is then just a short hop to Paris – still in time for the summer sales. I don’t want to buy much, just a few pieces to fill in a some gaps in my wardrobe. Quality over quantity is a very French way to dress.

packing1I have developed an odd way of packing that makes room in my suitcase for my purchases. For years, I have taken gently-worn clothing to a thrift shop. I’ve learned, however, that about half of what I, or anyone else donates, ends up in a landfill or ground up for products such as insulation or carpet pads. Americans now buy five-times more clothing than they used to. Charitable organizations receive more clothing donations than they can possibly use. They keep only the very best, and discard the rest. Donations were a way of making me feel good, but they didn’t really accomplish much in terms of helping others.

packing3Now, if clothing is from a high-end label and like new, I sell it on eBay. If it’s less than perfect, I set it aside for my trips and leave it behind when I’m returning. It’s a gagnant-gagnant situation. I come back with luggage that’s lighter than when I left, I pass on what is still good to others who can use it, and the rest is disposed of as responsibly as I can.

41wHI7TgeGL._SL75_Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Inès de la Fressange

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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3 Responses to Gagnant-gagnant

  1. “Be being paid to explore a new part of the world!” Congratulations and please accept my stomach-turning envy! [Translation: so happy for you! How does one get in on a gig like that?.]

    To which undiscovered part of the world will you be foraging? I know, I know…I’ve been MIA so I should know the answer to all these questions. I will certainly follow your Instagrammer to keep up on your adventures. If you would like to shadow me I’m [shocker!] “dauphiine.”

    Time to catch up on the life of Patty Gilbert! Can’t wait!

    BTW…I bought “the Whole Fromage!” I can’t wait until it arrives!

    Have a beautiful weekend!

    • Nice to hear from you again! I’m going to be in St. Andrews, Scotland for about six weeks. In the summer, I work for a company that runs study abroad programs for high school students. I help with the administration, which makes a change from teaching.

      I hope that you enjoy the book. My stack of summer reading is getting ridiculously tall.

      • My husband & I used to do the teen tours but the one we were involved in folded as a result of the Euro & 2008 Eco-Crisis. Such a shame!
        Do enjoy Scotland! It’s one of my favorite places!

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