FAQs For HowToSpendItEthically.Org
How To Spend It Ethically is not linked to any trade bodies or industry groups. It is published by Nature Needs More, a registered charity in Australia. Nature Needs More is independent and does not accept government or corporate donations.
This is a decision you have to make for yourself. Some people consider all animal farming unethical, others will accept that when good animal welfare practices are in place and ecological sustainability is not undermined by farming, it is ok.
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At the moment we are open to article suggestions. We will likely accept guest contributions in the future, please contact us if you are interested in becoming a regular contributor.
The sustainable fashion movement is only now coming to grips with the many issues related to fashion production – slave labour, waste, energy use, toxic chemicals and so on. To date, little attention has been paid to the use of wildlife or animal products and the sustainability of their production or sourcing. We believe the sustainable fashion movement needs to have the treatment and sourcing of all animal products as part of its strategy.
If you can be sure of the providence, then yes, vintage products themselves are sustainable. But the demand for vintage items creates new supply for ‘fake’ vintage, often sourced from illegal poaching or harvesting. Unless you have access to radiocarbon dating and DNA testing, you will be unable to confirm if your ‘vintage’ items are indeed vintage or recent imitations.
In most instances you can’t. Without DNA testing you don’t even know what you are buying, as the label information may or may not be accurate. Even if the label is accurate, there is no way of telling if the supply was legally sourced. Most companies selling wildlife-based products do not have transparent supply chains where specimen can be traced from source to destination.
There are two major reasons why we focus on the legal trade. The first is that the legal trade creates demand for wildlife ‘products’, which in turn provides the incentive for illegally poaching and harvesting. The second is that the legal trade has so many loopholes exploited by the traffickers that ending the illegal trade is not possible without modernising the system that manages the legal trade.
Unfortunately nobody really knows and there is no easy way of finding out. A UK Parliamentary inquiry in 2012 estimated the total trade at US$320 billion per year and a EU Parliament report from 2016 put the value of the trade to the EU at US$112 billion. The lack of proper trade monitoring makes it impossible to know what the real value of the trade is and how fast it is growing.