Where does unsold fashion merchandise go to die? In an ideal world, it would go to charity. For H&M and Wal-Mart, it apparently gets slashed so it’s unwearable, and then chucked in the garbage. One New Yorker made this sad discovery when she happened upon tons of black trash bags filled with H&M clothing ruined with intentional cuts and holes. Some of the items even included winter jackets that retailed for as much as $129, and the store location was down the street from a charity coat collection post. It looks as if Wal-Mart is also guilty of this wasteful procedure even though a company rep told the New York Times that clothes are “normally” donated.
How can this be?
In the case of H&M, customers took charge by bombarding the retailer’s Facebook page with criticism. H&M’s response also seemed to deny that the slashed and chucked garments were part of any normal procedure. Their official statement: “H&M is committed to taking responsibility for how our operations affect both people and the environment. Our policy is to donate any damaged usable garments to charity. We’re currently investigating an incident in a NY store that is not representative of our policy. We will follow with more information as soon as we are able. H&M’s US sales operation donates thousands of garments each year through Gifts In Kind Int.”