That slogan made me think about my grandmother mending clothes. Even the socks were repaired.
In the forties, rural France, people relearned to barter. The closest from mid to end of the war, the most desperate the bargain became. The black market exploded and people coming from Paris and suburbs to villages were numerous. They had to be brave as it was a risky business. You could end in jail or suspected of the most horrible crime when carrying suitcases on the train. Every object was used and reused, Nothing going to waste. When people had holes in their shoes, they would put newspaper or anything they could lay hands on. A lot had wooden soles, which made lots of noise on the cobblestone.
My father was born in the north of France, he still remembers how hungry he was and how desperate to find odd jobs for a kid, most men were at war or prisoners, or Germany for forced labors or some in the woods sort of speak, fighting with the resistance. The family moved in the city and he became a messenger on a bicycle, which at the time involved garden hose instead of tires. Yes, it is possible…everything was possible to make do. Ordinary people became heroes and for once they had a common goal, a fight to win. That by itself is fascinating. People became good at make do with what they had and very inventive with the rest.
My grandmother was born Burgundy not far from Beaune and lived there all her life. Her family was connected to a lot of farmers and they didn’t suffer too much of the food shortage. She was a great seamstress, as, I would dare say, most of her generation and would be an expert to reuse the coat or jackets, make dresses of any fabric. The only thing I heard, was more than a rarity, were stockings. Women, in Paris and elsewhere would paint a line on their legs to look like they had stockings. They would do that with their girlfriends and or family and paint each other legs. Some adopted the wool stockings in winter, those 40s winters were harsh.