Victoria’s Secret is under fire after throwing away hundreds of bras in a bin close to a recent closed branch of their lingerie store in Colorado.
As it is, the fashion industry is under fire for being a primary contributor to significant levels of waste globally.
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), 300,000 tonnes of clothing were sent to landfill in 2016 by the UK alone. The industry has come under pressure to improve its eco-credentials, with some brands introducing sustainable fabrics or in-store recycling initiatives – although these measures have also received some criticism, with allegations of “greenwashing”.
The discarded garments were found alongside other Victoria’s Secrets products by Colorado resident Melanie Gelinas, who lives upstairs from what had previously been a Victoria’s Secret store.
“It had to be hundreds of bras and I just thought, ‘What a waste,’” she told American news network 9News, who originally reported the story. “These are all going to a landfill. They could be going to a homeless shelter or a battered women’s shelter.”
A spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret said: “We are sorry for how this may appear. Because this store was closing, we damaged out [wrote off] sample products including bras from our fitting rooms. All remaining inventory was reallocated to other stores.”
In the meantime, Victoria’s Secret continues to face criticism regarding recent controversies.
This latest accusation against Victoria’s Secret follows a New York Times investigation earlier this month which found “widespread bullying and harassment of employees and models” at the brand. The company said it expressed regret.
Last August, Victoria’s Secret’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek had to step down following his comments that the brand would not cast transgender or plus-sized models “because the show is a fantasy” and, in November, the brand announced it would be cancelling its once-popular televised fashion show following a slump in sales and viewership.
Parent company L Brands Inc’s chief executive, Leslie Wexner, has also come under scrutiny for his close ties to convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein.
With so much controversy surrounding the brand, one wouldn’t be surprised if the brand decides to restructure.