Wednesday, January 06, 2010

It is winter. A third of the city is poor.
And unworn clothing is being destroyed nightly.

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.

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.


At 6:58 PM, Anonymous Chrystal K. said...

Are you kidding me? That's just crazy! Do you know how many people need clothes!?!?

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Bradley said...

Hi Ms. Dowd,

I just wanted to say that you do great work, keep it going. And that I will be forwarding this blog to my sister at Michigan Law.
Bradley C.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

Thanks for the kind words, Bradley.

If your sister is interested in this kind of stuff, she'll want to check out our lawsuit. A federal judge ruled that sharing food with hungry and homeless people in city parks is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. Read the decision here. We're awaiting a decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger DrKeithCurrie said...

When innumerable people fighting with cold all over the world then the giants are wasting worm cloths. Really strange!

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