I decided to up the ante by trying to choose more ethical sources for any new purchases I do make. "Ethical" is a tricky term and I have to admit, I'm not as hardcore as some of the ethical consumers I've found online. Since about mid-November, I've been trying to make sure my purchases are more responsible by either being secondhand (so its outside of the usual supply-demand cycle that drives manufacturing) or being a better choice either environmentally and/or through labour and manufacturing practices.
This has not proven to be a cheap decision but I'll do what I can, when I can.
I thought I'd post some pics of an example of how this new take on shopping has affected my choices. I had been debating getting some Blundstone boots (retail at about $200). These are the (similar style) Steve Madden brand Chelsea boots I found at Feisty Consignment, a cute little consignment store in my neighbourhood. Yes, they needed a good polishing and to have some new rubbery-sole-thingies put on but a) they're secondhand so buying them keeps them out of the landfill until they are truly beyond repair and b) even after repairs, they came to less than half of what a new pair of Blundstones would cost me. They've already gotten some use by their first owner so they likely won't last as long as a new pair of shoes but I still think I've made the right choice. I'm just bummed that I can't wear them as often as I'd like due to it being winter...
I'm not sure how to get the pics all on one line but the lower right picture is after polish/repair.