• Sweden edition
 

H&M under scrutiny for damaged clothes dump

Published: 08 Jan 2010 13:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Jan 2010 13:07 GMT+01:00

The newspaper, which published the story on January 5th, suggested that trash bags filled with cut up clothing are a common sight on the street outside the store on the city’s 34th Street.

It alleges that clothes have willfully been destroyed in order that they cannot be either worn or sold on, before being thrown away.

A witness reports seeing around 20 bags with ruined gloves, shoes, socks and jackets on a particularly chilly day in early December.

The article also points out that close to the H&M store lie the offices of charity New York Cares, an organisation that hands out clothes to the needy.

When challenged about the disposal practices of the company, a store manager referred the newspaper to H&M's US headquarters who failed to make a response.

Speaking to The Local, Pernilla Halldin, H&M press spokesperson in Sweden, denies the clothes found outside the New York store were purposely damaged.

Responding to the story, she says the garments were already defective and unsuitable to either wear or sell.

”In this specific case the clothes did not meet our safety standards,” she said.

”They were either damaged returns that customers had complained about or used as display examples in store – shoes that had been punctured to fit on mannequins.”

Halldin added that a large amount of stock which remains unsold is donated to charity, in line with H&M’s company policy.

”Our goal is to give away the clothes we don’t sell,” Halldin said. “They are donated to organisations that we have an assignment with in each country.”

According to H&M, the reason there was so many bags of clothes on this occasion was because the store was undergoing a seasonal clear-out.

When challenged as to whether the company can dispose of these items in a more environmental fashion, Halldin responded that H&M is looking into new possibilities as a result of the publicity aroused by the story.

”We have routines that are working but after this we are looking into our options even more,” she told The Local.

Christine Demsteader (christine.demsteader@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:47 January 8, 2010 by slickscott
This is effed up. But it doesnt surprise me that these blonde blue eyed scandinavian losers would do this. I dont know why people shop at this store. The clothes are not really stylistic or good quality. All sweden fashion is is a bunch of fake breasted blonde white woman with no talents who get into positions of prestige based on their looks
01:26 January 9, 2010 by xenyasai
Where are you from, slickscott?
11:14 January 9, 2010 by Jan-Bug
Exactly, where the frunk are you from slickscott?

And what has one thing to do with the other if I may ask? First of all it didn't even happen in this " blonde blue eyed scandinavian loser" country in the first place. This obviously took place in New York you dumb A---! And just because it happens to be a Swedish chain, it doesn't mean that we "blonde blue eyed losers" are responsible of every action going on in the rest of the world where H&M stores are located. Every store has their own management and none swede staff.

Your problem is obviously not the store itself by the way, but the oh so famous and beautiful blond, slim and tall scandinavian race. Pure envy is oozing out of your comment here slickscott. Get over yourself please!
11:50 January 9, 2010 by brøklyn_bjorn
slickscott(land)?

Much of the NYC H&M staff is Latin and Asian.

Their clothes are at a great price point but also sub-par quality for the most part. H&M are like the Ikea of clothing ! But there are much worse options; The Gap, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters. Personally I prefer Uniqlo for cheap threads.

I hope H&M makes a policy change all around and keeps on eye on where their trash to treasure ends up going.
12:56 January 9, 2010 by Pacey
Ha Ha. Swedish Firms will have the same Swedish Mentality.
13:25 January 9, 2010 by Norrlands Turk
Walmart was caught for doing the same thing and was mentioned in the New York Times article but apparently excluded from this article by The Local. So stop blaming H&M Sweden. I bet most companies do this in the US.
16:36 January 9, 2010 by glamelixir
Exactly Norriands turk, Mc donalds does the same worldwide, is an american based policies to aoid legal actions from the recievers. If they pick things from the street and something happens they avoid responsability. Too long to explain.
23:01 January 9, 2010 by slickscott
Hey all; sorry hadnt been online in 23 hours. Ok ok your admonition of me is well received. Umm but yes this apparent marring of these clothing items and the placing of them in garbage bags may have been done by nonSwedish workers but the COMMAND to do so came from "white swedish aryan socialistic non stylistic plastic smiles plastic surgery" swedes in their home offices in Stockholm. I am from the US; currently living in shithole Texas but from Wisconsin. Finished with my masters in Computer science and trying to find job.
08:21 January 10, 2010 by Weekend_warrior
Yes, both WalMart and H&M were accused in the article of cutting up clothes, and dumping them in the garbage. I am sure The Local saw fit to leave WalMart out, as they are irrelevant to Swedish News. Furthermore, regardless of what country it took place in, this decision was carried out by the policy of H&M Corporation.

What blows my mind the most, is that even from a business perspective it makes no sense. By donating the clothes to charity, H&M would be able to write off the donations on their taxes. So I am really at a loss for their reasoning. WalMart too.
11:42 January 10, 2010 by Kaethar
Man, people are so gullible. ALL fashion companies around the world do this. It has everything to do with sustaining brand value. People are not going to want to pay good money for fashion if poor and homeless people can get the same clothes for free. People don't want to look poor or low class.

You can be all offended by this but it's basic business and basic capitalism. In Sweden it's a non-issue for H&M and other similar retailers to donate old clothes since Sweden is a relatively classless society. Foreign high-end outlets (such as Chanel and Gucci) still destroy their products in Sweden rather than donating them though. Again, for obvious reasons.
15:41 January 10, 2010 by kerostarfx
Yes, Kaethar is right. I used to work at a certain retail store in the US when I was a teenager, and the stuff that was marked on clearance and wouldn't sell after a certain date would go straight to the bin.

However I used to take some of the stuff home with me :D
22:02 January 10, 2010 by CanadianEh
This is actually common practice for many kinds of stores ranging from food, to clothing to even furniture. The reasoning behind this policy is to make sure that current and future shoppers don't just wait to pick up the thrown out clothing etc. It's cost effective for companies to do this as well as it keeps customers coming into the stores to check out reduced items.

Unfortunately we can only send letters and ask our governments to put pressure on retail chains to ditch this inhumane practice.
11:10 January 11, 2010 by Åskar
Whenever did H&M become a "high street fashion chain"?
Today's headlines
Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs skyrocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs skyrocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Opposition Leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Getinge Floods
Swedish floods hit day two as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods hit day two as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden showed no signs of abating on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting that the rains are unlikely to stop any time soon. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

Bildt: 'We must increase efforts in Iraq'
Bildt in Baghdad on Monday. Photo: Karim Kadim/TT

Bildt: 'We must increase efforts in Iraq'

After meeting with refugees and politicians in Iraq on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Sweden must increase its efforts to help Iraq reach a lasting solution. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Politics
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
National
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Education
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
TT
Politics
Why is feminism such a hot topic in Sweden?
National
Swedish dad takes kids to Israel to learn about war
National
RIP Åle, the world's oldest eel
Society
Introducing: The Swedish crayfish party
National
Stockholm bus spontaneously combusts
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

675
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se