Monday, January 18

Wal-Mart and H&M Throw Out Clothes


Last night was the Golden Globes. An event where we honor excellence in the entertainment business and we highlight fashion as art form. This at a time when we watch with great sadness the unfolding of the tragedy in Haiti. The combination of these two events sparks me to write about a story that broke just a little while ago here in Manhattan.

The New York Times reported that Wal-Mart and H&M had been found destroying and throwing out clothing that had not sold. Also throwing out bag after bag of plastic hangers. Evidently, it's easier to destroy and throw out the merchandise than to recycle it, send it to outlets, or donate it.

Here's the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/06/nyregion/06about.html

We are talking some serious stuff here. Like cutting off the fingers on gloves, slicing the soles of school shoes, ripping the sleeves of shirts. Brand new merchandise that for whatever reason didn't sell, despite the low prices touted by both of these retailers.

Stating the obvious here: clothes that can be used by adults and children who are in need. In some cases, the dumpsters are right around the corner from locations accepting donations. Not "Golden Globes" fashion items, but clothing essentials that help people get through their day.

I'm speechless. So much so that I wasn't even going to write about it. But with so many people in need right now, I have to ask this question: if low prices are the essence of both of these brands, at what cost?

What's your experience? Jim.

1 comment:

  1. I was flabbergasted when I read that article a couple weeks ago in NYMag.com. Purposely cutting up unsold clothing while NY temperatures (plus other states) were close to zero and the homeless rate up in the city up is shameful. Where is their social responsibility? But from this article it's clear that they have none.

    If they were worried about their “brand,” why not just cut up the labels and donate it or if they were lazy, which I suspect they were/are, just place them in bags outside for the taking.

    I also wonder what, if anything, the person(s) who was responsible for the actual cutting of the unsold clothing is/was thinking during and the repercussion of it.

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