Here’s a sad story. The New York Times reports that an H&M store and a Wal-Mart store in New York were caught throwing away loads of unused clothing that they could not sell in their stores. On top of that, the stores took care to damage the clothing–jackets slashed, gloves cut at the fingers, pants hole-punched–so that the clothes could not be re-sold or re-used. It’s seriously a terrible waste.
I really can’t see why the stores wouldn’t donate their clothes to any one of numerous charities that benefit the needy. I’ve heard the argument that logistically, it’s difficult because charities are run by volunteers who are ill-equipped to handle the huge load of free clothing. But that sounds like pure rubbish. If Target is able to work out a sound donation-transportation process with Goodwill, there’s absolutely no reason why H&M or Wal-Mart couldn’t do the same. On top of that, I imagine this would result in a pretty good tax write-off somehow, not to mention some good press (or at the very least, avoidance of bad press which Wal-Mart sees too much of).
It’s very unfortunate especially these days. I heard a news story during the holidays about how charities like the Salvation Army were hard up for donations this past holiday season because of the recession. What a difference this H&M and Wal-Mart could’ve made to the local NY charities!
What do you think? Is this at all justifiable from a business standpoint? From a humane one? Should we start a boycott???!!?! (link via Budgetnista)