H&M destroys clothes and hearts bleed

8 January 2010

H&M - that clothes chain you've probably seen on the High Street - has made a whole bunch of people angry. Is it a row erupting over sweatshops? Has it sparked white-knuckled fury over rubbish working conditions for the staff? Maybe it's shitty customer service?

Well, it's none of these things actually. The spat has come about over bags full of slashed clothes.

You see, what's happened is that someone called Cynthia Magnus, who is a student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, found that H&M routinely slash and bin unsold garments. In particular, workers at the NYC store chop up clothes with box cutters and throw away bag after bag of clothing.

This, of course, is particularly badly timed as New York currently sits in one of the coldest winters it has had in yonks and of course, hasn't escaped the worldwide recession and the subsequent unemployment and homelessness problems.

Magnus told the New York Times about what she found: '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 fibre fill was coming out in big white cotton balls.'

Naturally, H&M wasn't going to stick fingers in the collective ears and hope this all went away (not when there's twats like us preying on the mistake of every company we stumble across).

In a statement, the company said: 'We donate garments that do not meet our quality requirements to organisations such as Gifts In Kind, UNHCR, Caritas, the Red Cross and Helping Hands. However, we do not donate clothes that do not meet our safety requirements, chemical restrictions or are damaged.... We are currently looking into if we can further improve our routines.'

One thing remains unclear however. Does all this mean that H&M don't mind selling stuff that don't meet 'safety requirements' and 'chemical restrictions', but they do mind giving it away to charity? Hmmm. That'll need clearing up I'm sure. Failing that, if you're good with a sewing machine, it's obvious you should get down the arse end of the High Street clothes shops... they're chucking stuff away which you might be able to do something cool with. If you can be arsed.

[New York Times]

TOPICS:   High Street News   Complaints


  • DeejaySF
    We dont want to de-value our brand by having tramps wearing H&M clothing, more like
  • DiY
    The irony is, even a tramp wouldn't be seen dead (see what I did there?) in h&m clothes.
  • ShakesHeadSadly
    Shame this story hit this month. If it had hit last month whoever came up with this appalling scheme could have looked forward to a visit from 3 ghosts..... 'Expect the first when the bell tolls one.....'
  • smashingnicey
    Yeah, did you know Apple cut up every Jesus phone that doesn't perform a miracle after the first hour of it being turned on.
  • Fella-Tio
    disgusting company lives could be saved after all
  • Nobby
    Why don't they remove all brand labels, stamp the clothes with "HOMELESS BUM" in large letters, and then give them away.
  • The B.
    I came out of Harrods this afternoon and saw a scruffy bloke He was playing the guitar and singing, “When I was young, seemed like life was so wonderful, a miracle, it was beautiful, magical.” I said, “That’s Supertramp”. He said, “Ah, thanks very much”.
  • issac h.
    Yeah, and why do all the scruffy buggers who sell the Big Issue dress like tramps?
  • Nobby
    God knows. And they keep going on about a big issue. What is the big issue? They've got trousers to piss in, so what are they complaining about.
  • Brandon H.
    I work at one of the warehouses and they build up a stockpile of stuff that gets soiled, torn, ripped etc. every now and again they have a sale for the employees to buy this unsellable stock, but if they cant get rid of it then i think they do dispose of it. While a lot of it is crap to most people, charge the right price and someone would buy it from a charity shop with labels removed as long as any faults were clearly labelled. The suppliers are responsible for some of the bad stock as you will get boxes of items without labels or packaging, thus h&m believes it can't be sold as it doesn't have all the friendly info on price, materials, washing instructions etc.
  • EconomyBeat.org i.
    [...] From Bitter Wallet [...]
  • charitynjw
    'course they're damaged - some pratt has slashed them to pieces with a box cutter..........
  • EconomyBeat.org i.
    [...] From Bitter Wallet [...]

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment