Oh Hey, H&M? Fuck You.

01/08/2010 9:02 AM |


Cynthia Magnus, a grad student a CUNY, stumbled upon bags of cut-up clothes outside of H&M and a Wal-Mart distribution center in Herald Square last month. Aghast at the corporate waste, she carried some of the bags home to Brooklyn to solicit help repairing the garments and then promptly tipped off the New York Times about the unnecessary litter.

Magnus told Jim Dwyer that it’s most common to find discarded items outside H&M. After research into the amputated gloves and the de-insulated coats, Dwyer reported on Tuesday that a Wal-Mart spokesperson claims the company usually donates its unsold items to charity and that H&M remains unresponsive in the face of at least 10 calls and emails. What’s more, is that Dwyer points out the close proximity of the dumpsters to New York Cares, a non-profit who gladly accepts donations of clothing on a daily basis.

High-end brands like Chanel once had a destruction policy for un-purchased inventory, but even they have put a moratorium on such heinous policies and have opened a handful of outlet shops for cheaper, off-season retail options in the past few years. What might be a measure to prevent the sale of these items is more likely a preventative measure to ensure that anyone who didn’t pay for them can’t wear them. And, actually, it’s an affront to the 18.5% of the City’s population who live below the poverty line: on the brink of what is shaping up to be a frozen winter, the blatant disregard for the City’s poor and under-dressed is astonishing, and the lack of knowledge and follow-through by these corporations concerning their product is unacceptable.

6 Comment

  • Yeah, Fuck Off !! H&M

  • I don’t understand. Was it actually littering? Can’t they do what they want with their own merchandise? The fashion industry relies on vapid consumption of the next hot thing, and wearing a brand that everyone knows you spent money on. It’d be bad for business if H&M just gave away their surplus. It’s simple supply and demand. Sure, it’d be cool if they skipped down the street, clothing the homeless, and serving them milk and cookies. But they have a business to run, and no one wants to pay top dollar for something that will be given away a few months later. Maybe Unicef will open a boutique, but until then, get a fucking brain please.

  • I’ve worked in retail for many stores for 30 years and know of no one; especially Walmart, donating any of their clothing to any charity EVER. Most of the sample clothing is cut in such a way so that it cannot be repaired, however may corporate offices sell their cut up samples when they start piling up as well as any other sample clothing to their office employees and the monies are donated to certain charities, golf tourneys for management, Christmas parties for management and weekend getaways for management. Yes, these clothes DO belong to the companies and they can do with them whatever they like but it is a shame that they can’t give them to homeless shelters or groups who clothe the poor, but many corporations feel that they do a lot for the poor and don’t see any reason to give these things away when the money they bring in is so much more satisfying as a vacation at a golf club or beach resort for the top guys.

  • I have to agree with the poster F*** This. This is a form of anti-theft for their labor. Those articles of clothing were created with their time and money and therefore their property. They may do with it as they see fit. To prevent others from utilizing their product without paying for them is common practice in all industries.

    H&M, indeed does give back to the community:


    It is not a blatant disregard for the poor. To think that those in poverty would be “affronted” that they were not getting a hand-out by big corporations, is a bit presumptuous. By the way, winters always shape up to be very cold. The season wouldn’t be called winter if it wasn’t.

  • …are you aware that every company does this?
    I was talking to my friend, a worker at Hollister, and she told me they do it, as does Abercrombie & Fitch, Buckle, and many many other places.

  • Wait… this excess merchandise is apparently going to be out of season soon anyways right? So it shouldn’t matter that someone less fortunate doesn’t care that the shirt on their back isn’t stylish, all that matters is they’re clothed. It’s ridiculous to see multiple limited resources be wasted on clothing that never gets worn.