Lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret has been accused of throwing out wearable clothing after a Florida woman reported that she saw a worker cut in a half a pair of undamaged $70 sweatpants that she returned for a full refund.
According to the shopper, Marie Wolf, the worker told her it was “part of company policy,” as told to Today.
Victoria’s Secret isn’t the first retailer to purposefully destroy and throw out returned or unsold clothing. Last year, H&M was caught red-handed trashing its unsold apparel. According to an H&M worker we interviewed, clothing is disposed of according to company policy – the same response Wolf received from a Victoria’s Secret manager.
H&M later redeemed itself by issuing a public promise to donate unsold and returned clothing to local charities. One year later, the clothing retailer is now one of the top users of organic cotton.
Next move is on you, Victoria.
April 29, 2011, 1:55 p.m. EST: Robin Hoffman of Limited Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, reached out to our Editorial Department to provide additional information on the company’s return policy, which states that “Returned, untagged innerwear (panties/swim bottoms) or returned items that are damaged or show signs of wear are destroyed. All other merchandise is restocked or donated.”
Regarding the specific situation with the Florida shopper, Hoffman says, “Because we don’t have contact information for the customer, we haven’t been able to talk with her. And yes, the process reported in the newspaper did not match our policy.”
Additionally, that policy goes on to say that the company donated more than $3 million worth of product to charity last year.