Photo Credit: Lynn Watson/Shutterstock
Luxury handbag and leather brand Coach announced this week that it would no longer destroy damaged or "unsalable" goods in the wake of a viral TikTok video exposing the practice.
Last week, a woman named Anna Sacks, who goes by the username @thetrashwalker on TikTok, showed off a series of Coach handbags on her page and explained to viewers that she dug the bags out of Coach’s trash. In the video, Sacks explains that Coach has a policy to "order an employee to deliberately slash (unwanted merchandise) so no one can use it."
Sacks claims that the practice is done as part of a "tax loophole" and that Coach can write off the products "as if it were accidentally destroyed." She goes on to add that Coach has a repair program and will attempt to bring in the slashed bags for them to repair. She also noted that the brand has made a lot of grandiose statements about standing by its products, imploring customers to be more sustainable, and that it alleges on its website that it wants to “reduce our impact on the planet.”
In a report by CNN, neither Coach nor its parent company, Tapestry, responded to requests for comment.
However, the brand did post a statement on its Instagram this week that reemphasized its commitment to sustainability and said that it would not be “destroying in-store returns of damaged and unsalable goods.” The brand captioned a series of slides by telling followers that they “always strive to do better and we are committed to leading with purpose and embracing our responsibility as a global fashion brand to effect real and lasting change for our industry.”
The slides also shared that the brand has donated “$55 million to support low-income families, individuals in need, those reentering the workforce and education programs.”