Food waste has hit the headlines in the UK this week, on news that supermarket Tesco threw away almost 30,000 tonnes of out-of-date food in the first six months of 2013, instead of giving it away to charity.
Tesco estimated that across the UK food industry, 68% of salad sold in bags was wasted, while 35% of it was thrown out by customers.
Many wondered if the same discard policy was applied to clothing.
Shockingly, according to a legion of former retail workers, major global brands often burn or destroy clothes that are left unsold instead of donating them to charity.
After journalist and author Caitlin Moran asked on Twitter what happened to leftover non-food goods, here were the responses.
@caitlinmoran when I worked for a high end department store I had the task one day to stand a shred gowns and smash the heals of shoes
— Iain (@iainmacaulay80) October 26, 2013
@caitlinmoran disney destroy/ink soft toys they deem unsaleable
— Hollie (@_hollieberry) October 26, 2013
@caitlinmoran all the polo shirts in that colour got taken out back and cut into tiny pieces by the manager. Then binned :( (2/2)
— Chris Mandle (@chris_mandle) October 26, 2013
However, some stores seem to give their clothes and other pieces to charity, but at a 'price'.
@caitlinmoran a pal who worked at fat face said they chopped them into pieces as wasnt good for brand identity to give to charity
— Holly Graham (@hollyhgraham) October 26, 2013
However, some retailers seemed to be a bit more forthcoming with their donations.
@caitlinmoran my sister is a designer for bhs; they give all clothes to staff or charity!
— Anna Mcclurey (@annamcclurey) October 26, 2013