H&M destroys clothes and hearts bleed
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.