H&M and Wal-Mart Caught Destroying Clothing, Deny It Is PolicyPosted: January 17, 2010
Cynthia Magnus with destroyed clothing, Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
The New York Times is having a hard time these days, and the mainstream media are taking a lot of hits. But you have to admit, there is still a lot of power in those presses. Just yesterday Jim Dwyer wrote A Clothing Clearance Where More Than Just the Prices Have Been Slashed, about how graduate student Cynthia Magnus discovered that piles of clothes from Wal-Mart and H&M were being destroyed and thrown out. Dwyer keeps it short:
It is winter. A third of the city is poor. And unworn clothing is being destroyed nightly.
H&M did not return the reporter’s ten calls but he ran the story anyways. And today?
A different headline in the Times: Clothing Retailer Says It Will No Longer Destroy Unworn Garments
A spokesperson responded quickly this time.
"It will not happen again," said Nicole Christie, a spokeswoman for H & M in New York. "We are committed 100 percent to make sure this practice is not happening anywhere else, as it is not our standard practice."
A Wal-Mart spokesperson said that the company typically donated or recycled such items, and did not explain how the store just happened to have a giant hole-punching machine.
One has to wonder, how long it would have taken if Consumerist or even TreeHugger had been the one to break this story. Would the blogs have got a call back in a day? Could they even find a number?
There is still such a big role to be played by the big papers like the Times. If only they had not become so timid with respect to other issues.