AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Coach said it will no longer destroy “unsalable” handbags after a TikTok video criticized the practice.
The viral video showed several slashed Coach bags that were found in a dumpster outside a mall.
Coach denied that it destroys bags that are in usable condition or that can be donated.
Coach said it will stop destroying “damaged and unsaleable” bags after a viral TikTok video accused the company of slashing handbags and throwing them in a dumpster outside a mall in Dallas.
Anna Sacks, who posted the video, which has also been shared on Instagram, told her followers that Coach asks employees to deliberately destroy handbags per company policy. She alleged that the company used this tactic as a method to write down the value of its inventory for tax purposes. A spokesperson for Coach said this statement was inaccurate and that there was no tax benefit to destroying the bags.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Coach said that it would no longer destroy “in-store returns of damaged and unsalable goods.” These items would instead be donated to its reuse handbag repair program, which it offers in stores.
A spokesperson told Insider that employees were previously asked to destroy handbags that could not be used or donated. These are damaged or defective items with issues like holes in the leather, the spokesperson said.
Coach currently offers a repair workshop in 40% of its stores that offers to fix broken bags or accessories. A spokesperson told Insider that the repair team can also deconstruct unusable bags and reuse the materials in other ways.
When Insider asked why the bags found in the dumpster in Dallas were not sent to the repair program, the spokesperson said the company did not have the capacity to handle the repairs. Going forward, however, all bags will be sent to this service, she said.
Some companies have used the tactic to protect their brand image by preventing unsold products from ending up in thrift or discount stores.
London-based brand Burberry sparked backlash after it was revealed in 2018 that it had burned $37 million worth of products. In a statement at the time, a Burberry spokesperson said it has “careful processes in place to minimise the amount of excess stock we produce.”
“On the occasions when disposal of products is necessary, we do so in a responsible manner and we continue to seek ways to reduce and revalue our waste,” the spokesperson said.