When you think about the enormous need that exists in the world, do you struggle to understand why every grocery and department store doesn’t participate in a form of donation/recycling? I know I do (we’ve written about grocery stores and farms that donate items to shelters and social services). But when I found this story, I was disgusted and shocked. You’d think by now I would be totally desensitized to the greed, but I’m not.

When Ryan Matzner was recently walking by piles of trash outside a big Nike store in Manhattan and found tons of shoes inside a garbage bag, he was shocked to find them all slashed- from heel to toe. It might have initially looked like a box cutter accident but, no. They were totally destroyed.


If this is confusing for you, perhaps you’ll remember a couple of years ago when it was found that new, unworn clothing was being discarded by the H&M store on 34th Street in New York. After that story came out people were outraged and H&M promised from then on to donate all usable clothing to charity.

Matzner and his friend would go on to find garbage bags of slashed t-shirts and sweatshirts as well.

From the article:

“A small amount of product at our Nike SoHo store did not meet our standards to restock, recycle or donate so it was disposed of,” Joy Davis Fair, a Nike spokeswoman, said in an email. She did not explain why the shoes and garments were slashed before being thrown away.

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.”

And if that’s not the case, that sure is what it seems like.


The truth is that in a huge city like New York, there’s a huge amount of need. What the Nike store did, what H&M did in the past, is disgusting and shameful.

We’ve got to be about more than our bottom line and ask that retails do the same. And if they won’t listen, they will listen to the sound we make as we walk away.

Source: NY Times