My Green Closet said there was 2 ways to look at shopping ethically: Do no harm and do good. Do no harm is almost impossible. Can you verify the fabric wasn’t made in a sweatshop and just put together in the U.S.? What if the few ethical places you trust don’t have what you need?
As a plus size woman, finding pants can be a bitch. When I was trying to find decent wicking clothes for Firefly, I couldn’t be that picky. ModCloth, who enacted an excellent policy in 2013, didn’t have anything, I didn’t like what torrid had, and I got lucky at Kohl’s. I have no idea if Tek Gear is ethical and Gaiam hints they are. In this instance, the ‘do no harm’ policy would result in guilt trip due to ambiguity.
I recently saw large shark teeth with a gold dip on the top like this on Etsy. I loved the piece but not the price or potential implications. I decided to mess around on Poshmark and see what shark stuff was available. I found a similar piece for $15. I asked the seller if she knew how the tooth was obtained and she had no idea. I was thrifting a piece and making a reasonably ethical purchase on a pretty loaded item.
Sharks are critical to the eco-system and constantly threatened by commercial vessels. I did good by buying used rather than risk encouraging an industry that’s harming our oceans. Was the tooth I’m wearing obtained ethically? I have no idea but I know I obtained as ethically and frugally as I could. I did good, so to speak.
For those of you wondering how to ethically get a tooth, finding it on a beach or getting it from a shark that died naturally. Maybe it was sifted out of an aquarium filter or lodged in a surf board after an “Oops, not a seal” moment. Either way, I’m conscious of the danger these valuable predators our in. Please respect nature and try to make the world better than we found it. PSA over. You may go about your lives now.