It is winter. A third of the city is poor.
At the back entrance of a New York City clothing store, awaiting trash haulers, were bags of garments that appear to have never been worn. And to make sure that they never would be worn or sold, someone had slashed most of them with box cutters or razors, a familiar sight outside H&M’s back door.
And unworn clothing is being destroyed nightly.
A few doors down, hundreds of garments tagged for sale in Wal-Mart — hoodies and T-shirts and pants — were discovered in trash bags the week before Christmas, apparently dumped by a contractor for Wal-Mart that has space on the block.
Each piece of clothing had holes punched through it by a machine.
They were found by Cynthia Magnus, who noticed the piles of discarded clothing as she walked to a subway station. She was aghast at the waste.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman said the company normally donates all its unworn goods to charities, and would have to investigate why the items found in Manhattan were discarded.
Officials for H&M, which is based in Sweden, did not respond to 10 inquiries made by phone and e-mail.
Directly around the corner from H&M is a big collection point for New York Cares, which conducts an annual coat drive.
Read The New York Times report here.
Update: H&M says it won't happen again. The clothing retailer has promised to stop destroying clothing that it can't sell and will instead donate the garments to charities. Read The New York Times report here.