Disposable Clothing?

This story from Tuesday’s Times about H&M throwing away unsold clothing brings new meaning to the term “throwaway fashion.” What a terrible waste. Kudos to Cynthia Magnus, a CUNY graduate student for reporting it to the newspaper when H&M ignored her queries.

image from Stylefrizz.com

From the story:

During her walks down 35th Street, Ms. Magnus said, it is more common to find destroyed clothing in the H & M trash. On Dec. 7, during an early cold snap, she said, she saw about 20 bags filled with H & M clothing that had been cut up.

“Gloves with the fingers cut off,” Ms. Magnus said, reciting the inventory of ruined items. “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.” The jackets were tagged $59, $79 and $129.

This week, a manager in the H & M store on 34th Street said inquiries about its disposal practices had to be made to its United States headquarters. However, various officials did not respond to 10 inquiries made Tuesday 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.

“We’d be glad to take unworn coats, and companies often send them to us,” said Colleen Farrell, a spokeswoman for New York Cares.

In an update posted the following day, both H&M and Wal-Mart pledged they would donate unsold clothing, rather than cutting up clothing and throwing it away. Now that’s citizen journalism.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Disposable Clothing?

  1. I am so glad to hear that H&M and Wal-Mart have seen the error in their way and will be donating the clothes. I agree with you Jenni, this is the true meaning of citizen journalism. Bravo on the site by the way. Looking snappy.

  2. Thanks Linnea! I wonder if (but doubt) they’ve considered making LESS clothing…

  3. Margo

    I had no idea- that’s disgusting! Other stores that throw- away??

  4. claudia haspedis dixon

    You are full of passion ans energy and going in a great direction. I love the sound of your voice and all that you are sharing!

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  7. Hello. Lovely, insightful blog. Discovered it via your wonderful Huffington Post article.

    Presumably you’ve heard this phrase: flash and trash. Personally, my closet is small. I wear a handful of timeless, high quality dresses while changing accessories (belts, scarves).

    Looking forward to blog updates!

    • Thank you! I actually haven’t heard the phrase Flash and Trash, but will add it to my notes. Changing accessories is so key, you’re right–especially as the seasons change. A cream cotton scarf printed with peach flowers that a friend brought me from Turkey saved a black dress from post-winter doldrums today. More on Flash and Trash to come…I met with H&M in their headquarters in Stockholm this week!

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