Tuesday, January 12, 2010

H&M shame

For most people this is old news - a week old - but I wasn't paying much attention last week, what with looking for an apartment and getting to know my way around. The New York Times published an article about the practice of companies destroying brand new, out-of-season clothes. The thinking behind the practice, I believe, is that donating unsold garments to charity, for example, would damage the brand. Apparently the best thing to do is to destroy the garments. Funny how the world sometimes works in reverse. The companies in this case were H&M and Wal-Mart but the practice is widespread and not limited to the US. Back in Sydney, more than once I heard of a facility near Tempe Tip, where brands could bury unworn, unsold stock. If you know anything about it, please email me; I've never managed to find out more about this, but have heard the rumour more than once.

H&M responded very quickly, stating this practice would stop. Shame nevertheless that it happened in the first place. This is one of the more sickening examples of waste in the society we've created. I do hope that other brands take note and likewise cease doing this, and donate the clothes to those that need them (no shortage there).

For reasons I won't say just yet, this is a topic I'll likely return to soon, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

The team said...

I hosted a SwapORamaRama early last December in Perth WA. A local non-profit group that recycles industrial waste came along and brought many ends-of-rolls of plastic backed curtaining fabric to make shopping bags from (they host a Morsbag pod) At the end of the day they offered them to me, as they were overstocked and would have to send them to landfill. I was shocked that even well-meaning groups that try to utilise waste are unable to keep up with the never-ending flow. Everyone on my gift list got a tote bag this year. (and next year, and the year after, probably until 2020)