Slashers’ Work Ruins Shoes Discarded at a Nike Store

Retailers will tear up brand new shoes and clothes instead of allowing the poor to wear them, because it makes their brand look bad. In a SANE sustainable world that would result in consumer and legal backlash.

... every single shoe had been slashed. That was precisely how H&M disposed of its garments — rendered unwearable with blades and big hole punchers. “Recalling the H&M story, I realized it was surely intentional,” Mr. Matzner said.

Ms. Wagner found slashed T-shirts and sweaters in another bag. “Ryan and I were shocked,” she said. 

Many retailers will destroy garments that cannot be sold in order to prevent expensive brand-name products from entering society at low or no cost. Some companies simply do not want their products — or even knockoffs of their goods — to be worn by people who are obviously unable to afford them.

For instance, every year, millions of dollars in counterfeit football jerseys, knit caps, windbreakers and related gear are seized by the federal authorities before the Super Bowl. By federal law, they must be destroyed, a requirement that corporations lobbied for after refugees from Hurricane Katrina were given counterfeit garments being held in a government warehouse.

As one legal commentator wrote: “After all, these companies did not spend millions of dollars in high-end advertising only to be associated with ‘shelter chic.’” In 2009, the New York City Police Department destroyed tons of new, unworn clothing seized in counterfeiting raids.

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