Friday, January 8, 2010


Both the New York Times and the Huffington Post have reported this week that two of the largest retail chains, H&M and Walmart, have been throwing out bundles of unsold items in trash bags instead of donating them. But it gets worse.

Understanding that someone may stumble on these bags and try to keep the items (perhaps to resell them as well), these companies have gone as far as to slash up garments, cut off the sleeves of coats, and sliced holes in shoes so the garments are completely unwearable.

According to Yahoo!News, the discovery was made by graduate student Cynthia Magnus outside an entrance of H&M on 35th street in New York City. She found 20 bags of clothing outside of H&M including, "gloves with the fingers cut off, warm socks, cute patent leather Mary Jane school shoes, maybe for fourth graders, with the instep cut up with a scissor, men’s jackets, slashed across the body and the arms. The puffy fiber fill was coming out in big white cotton balls.”And just a few doors down, she also found hundreds of Wal-Mart tagged items with holes made in them that were also dumped. Each piece of clothing had a hole which seemed to be machine made.

When asked, Wal-Mart spokeswoman, Melissa Hill, was surprised at the discovery of the items and claimed that all unworn items were typically donated to charity. And ironically around the corner from the H&M, there is a collections drop-off for charity organization New York Cares. When asked, their spokesperson Colleen Farrell said, “We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies often send them to us."

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