Recently, that same dress showed up used...on Poshmark. I had tried it on, so I knew the size would probably still be right...that I loved the color + the cut. I bought it...and I can't explain how happy I was to receive it.
This tiny chain of events still makes me wonder if finding a dress second-hand redeems it as a purchase. I mean...the fact that someone other than me purchased it first erases the fact that the makers may not have been paid a fair wage? Again...imperfection. Here I think the main argument for earning an ethical "stamp" is that this dress is getting worn + not ending up in the landfill. I'm becoming part of its story...just as the farmers, garment workers, and original purchaser (+ possibly the subsequent wearers) of the dress have been. I don't know that that makes me more ethical than the person who bought it from the store. We are a sort of team...like in a relay race...handing off the baton + keeping the race going.
It will be a little while before I can wear this dress with bare legs + a breeze, but I'm looking forward to that day + all the other days that I will happily wear this dress.