I warn you now, this is quite a little rant...I heard this story on the news yesterday and looked it up this morning. Bags and bags of clothes, shoes, coats, and more that could have been donated to charities and shelters by Wal-Mart and H&M destroyed so they would be unwearable and thrown away!
For those who have worked or had family members that work for 'big box' stores you probably knew about this kind of practice. I know when someone I know worked at the Wal-Mart deli they threw out food instead of donating. The explanation given was to avoid lawsuits from possible food poisoning since the thrown out food was past it's prime. OK, I can kinda understand that. But really, are you that unconcerned about your fellow man that you would, as a company, make a decided effort to destroy unsold merchandise that you have already written off as a loss rather than pass it on to those in need? Apathy is one thing, but to send a paid employee to go through garments and shoes one by one, cutting off fingers of gloves, sleeves from coats, and slitting the insoles of shoes is disgusting and disturbing. If they did not want to make the effort to ship them off to shelters or charities, just put them out back for people to go through, or have a monthly 'free store' in the parking lot for charities to come get the stuff. Any charity would have been falling all over themselves to come pick up those items, and the good publicity for those companies would have been immeasurable. Why did they do it? Because they knew they could. The general population will say 'That's just awful! That reminds me I have to stop at Wal-Mart on the way home for milk and bread.' I have been encouraged to see in this recession stories of people reaching out to others, people pulling together to make it through hard times. The bottom line is that the people who would have benefited from those clothes being donated were or are Wal-Mart customers more than likely, and when the hard times hit, they as a company not only did not care but took deliberate steps to keep products they had written off as trash out of the hands of those who needed them. What am I missing here? Someone explain it to me? My family is broke as a joke right now, and still we donated a van full of old toys to a local church daycare, we donated all the disposable diapers I didn't use for Mojo when I made cloths as well as our clothes when we purge closets twice a year to the mission in town. I don't know much about H&M, but doesn't Wal-Mart set it's self up to be 'moral'? Not selling this CD or that book because it's too dirty or sexy or whatever? Where was that 'morality' when it came to charity that would have cost them NOTHING? I don't live too close to a Wal-Mart, being in a rural small town. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to one, and I have probably been once in the last 4 months or so, so it's not like they, as a business, will notice my absence as a customer, but what little business I give them has just gone to Target, who contributes both money and merchandise to charities each month at least until I can be assured that Wal-Mart has taken steps to be more socially conscious and has donation procedures in place for this type of non-perishable merchandise. This is not a rallying cry to join me, I know some people have to depend on Wal-Mart for jobs and for being the best price on food in a bad economy, but at least think about this story the next time you are in the check out line, and think about getting involved somehow to make up for all those who don't care out there.