The recent contretemps about John Galliano has gotten me to thinking about ethics and fashion.
Obviously, everybody has their own standards. Some folks rival Cruella de Ville and would happily wear a coat fashioned from baby beagles, trimmed with kitten noses, and crafted by Satan himself. Others do Ph.D.-worthy research before buying so much as a pair of socks, to make sure that the purchase is ethical and that the owner of the company only eats organic quinoa and regularly helps old ladies cross the street.
My coworker came up to me the other day, showing me some jewelry that she thought I’d find interesting (she knows about this blog). She spent much of her childhood in Africa, and her folks bought some pieces while there.
One of the pieces was an elephant ivory bracelet.
Objectively, it’s a beautiful piece. Stunning, in fact.
I haven’t seen her wear it, and didn’t think to ask if she does, in fact, ever put it on. And I started thinking: would I wear it?
I would never BUY ivory jewelry. But, if it were inherited, would I wear it? Would that be considered to be supporting the ivory trade in spirit, if not in dollar?
Honestly, I don’t know. It would be a shame for a beautiful piece like that bracelet to never be worn, especially considering that wearing it isn’t going to directly support ivory poachers or anything. But part of me might always feel uneasy or a little guilty about wearing it.
What say you?