TikToker shares how Coach destroys unwanted merchandise despite public commitments to a "circular economy"

Anna Sacks, known as @thetrashwalker, has gained a following by rifling through the trash. She documents her "garbage walks" on Instagram and Tiktok, showing the perfectly good products that NYC retailers throw away.

When she got her hands on slashed Coach bags, she hatched a plan to bring them to the store's own repair program.

"As you can see, they're all slashed, which is Coach's policy. This is what they do with unwanted merchandise. They order an employee to deliberately slash it so no one can use it. And then they write it off as a tax write-off under the same tax loophole as if it were accidentally destroyed."

Coach actually has a repair program for their bags. Hopefully their shoes too. So I'm going to bring some of these in to Coach and ask them to repair it for me. Because according to their website, they really care about the circular economy, and they really care about sustainability. they're a publicly traded company, but this is not disclosed anywhere. See, 'don't ditch it, repair it,' Coach says. 'Repair your bags.'"

Anna Sacks

Coach isn't the only retailer accused of destroying its merchandise before discarding it. A 2018 Vox report estimates that the fashion industry throws away billions of dollars' worth of their own merchendise.

"Whistleblowing sales associates and eagle-eyed shoppers have pointed out how this practice happens at Urban Outfitters, Walmart, Eddie BauerMichael KorsVictoria's Secret, and J.C. Penny."