Last week, eBay's social conscience companion, World of Good, announced an amazingly simple act of goodness: They would encourage products, producers and sellers to display in a coherent way the ethical dimensions of the marketplace.
Despite fits and starts, the metrics to connect "ethical" with "conscious" consumerism have begun to move forward as a distinct market place.
The transparency of ratings selections by sellers pulls the ethical curtain open slightly. Ratings providers often charge manufacturers and sellers, or are promoted by their industry associations, as the definitive brand for ethical or sustainable business management.
From a fair use vantage point, one could ask whether all ratings of products and services in interstate commerce should be citable and comparable freely, so that public discovery and opinion and free review by the media can readily add to the natural brand-wariness of Web-informed consumers and supply chains.
Ideally, all ratings relating to a class of product, producer or seller would be discoverable and useful interoperably, at no cost, or at nominal cost absorbed as part of the marketing budget for competing in a global marketplace of source-impact-verified commerce.
Bravo to eBay and World of Good, and similar websites and services, for expanding the transparency consumers expect of ethical markets and market participants.