A Toronto woman is asking children’s apparel store Carter’s to rethink its practices after she discovered bags of brand new kid’s clothes cut up and discarded outside the Dufferin Mall.
Natasha McKenna told CBC News she made the discovery on Monday when she noticed a bunch of clear plastic bags full of clothes near a garbage bin outside the mall near the corner of Dufferin Street and Bloor Street West.
“I started going through the bags, and I just kept pulling out clothes that were sliced, and they were all from Carter’s OshKosh B’gosh — everything from baby onesies to snow pants, gloves, shoes, some picture frames, toys that were sliced,” she said.
“I was kind of stupefied at the moment … What company that sells clothes to kids would do this?”
In a statement sent to CBC News Wednesday, Carter’s spokesperson Lindsay Rider said the company’s policy is to dispose of “damaged or unusable product to prevent any potential harm to our customers.
“We contacted our store in Canada and determined the items in question were damaged or unusable and disposed of properly for safety reasons,” she said.
Rider also said that in the last five years, the company has donated “tens of millions of dollars’ worth of product to children’s organizations in the United States and Canada.”
But McKenna said the items she saw seemed usable.
“There’s recycling, there’s donation, there’s so many families in need in the city,” she said.
“It’s like minus three outside, why are you cutting up brand new gloves that a kid could wear?”
It’s practices like these that registered charity Brands for Canada is working to change.
The organization picks up overstocked or returned items from over 200 international retailers, strips the labels and then redistributes them to people in need.
Executive director Helen Harakas told CBC News that what McKenna found wasn’t a surprise to her. She said that textiles are among the top polluters in landfills.
“On the other hand, we have people who are living in poverty who don’t have clothes, don’t have coats, don’t have shoes, don’t have boots,” she said.
She said the charity is open to working with Carter’s — and received a call from the company Wednesday to search for a potential solution working together.