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New York H&M under fire for destroying unsold clothes

A New York City branch of the clothing retailer H&M has sparked ire for destroying surplus clothes before discarding them. Criticisms have flooded the store's Facebook page since the New York Times newspaper reported the practice.


AFP - Popular clothing store H&M faced uproar Thursday over a report that one of its New York outlets is slashing and throwing out unsold clothing.

Workers at the store in the heart of Manhattan's shopping district regularly throw away bags of clothing, most of the items having first been cut up with box cutters or razors, The New York Times reported.

Clothes destroyed included gloves with fingers cut off and men's jackets opened so that insulating fiber was coming out, the Times reported.

With unemployment at more than 10 percent and the city's homeless population facing bitter temperatures the report sparked anger on H&M's Facebook page.

"What??!! Throwing clothes away?? That does not make any sense... it's true they should be donating them instead or at least call some people up so we can pick them up and donate them!!" wrote Carolina De Jesus.

"What a shame," added Maxime.

"Sorry H&M but until you find a better way to dispose of unsold clothing, I don't really want anything to do with you," another customer fumed.

H&M defended itself, saying the company donated half a million pieces of clothes to charity last year, but that not all items qualified.

"We donate garments that do not meet our quality requirements to organizations such as Gifts In Kind, UNHCR, Caritas, the Red Cross and Helping Hands," the company said in a statement.

"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."

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