Coach has announced that it has stopped the practices of destroying its in-store returns of damaged goods after a TikTok video went viral over the weekend.
The video showed returned handbags slashed and was posted by environmental activist Anna Sacks (@thetrashtalker) on social media platforms.
@thetrashwalker##coach ##donatedontdump ##retailmademe ##dumpsterdiving ##shopping ##climatechange ##haul ##free ##eco ##recycle ##donate ##nyc ##thrift ##repair ##fashion ##style♬ Waltz of the Flowers – The Nutcracker – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The clip has been liked over 500,000 times and shows Sacks displaying Coach products she’d purchased from Tiffany Shereer, who goes by Dumpster Diving Mama on social media platforms.
Shereer sells items she finds in the rubbish that have been discarded by companies unnecessarily.
Sacks claims that Coach has a policy whereby it deliberately destroys unwanted merchandise to gain a tax benefit.
Coach has hit back at claims and said that the vast majority of its excess inventory is donated and that the damaged products being destroyed represented around 1 per cent of its units globally.
It also disputed the claim that it claimed tax benefits on unsalable returns that were destroyed in store.
The apparel label said it is in the process of seeking and implementing better solutions to responsibly repurpose, recycle and reuse excess or damaged products.
Coach is the next label to come under fire for the practise of destroying unwanted goods as the industry seeks to become more sustainable.
Luxury brand Burberry faced strong criticism in 2018 after it was found that it had destroyed nearly $40 million worth of products.
The company subsequently committed to stop the practice and French regulations ban brands from burning or dumping unsold items.
Sacks is involved in building a coalition which focusses on introducing federal laws to discourage over-production and incentivise the practise of donation for unsalable goods.
The group’s first meeting will take place in a few weeks.
“I really want this to be common sense, non-partisan and passable,” she said.
It shouldn’t be controversial, if Coach wants to be part of it, that would be fantastic.”