In 2009, officials in New York City reportedly destroyed tons of new, unworn clothing and shoes acquired after raiding counterfeit operations in the Big Apple, according to the New York Times.
Up until April 2009, seized counterfeit designer clothing (not including fake watches and handbags) had their labels removed and logos defaced (with permission from the trademark holders) before being donated to not-for-profits like World Vision and New York City Clothing Bank, says the article.
After April, however, the New York Police Department allegedly used an industrial shredder to ruin "a dozen tractor-trailer loads of bootleg goods" along with sending additional unworn clothes -- including winter jackets, pants, underwear and shirts -- to be burned for $150/ton in Long Island, NY, reports the source.
Paul J. Browne, an NYPD spokesman, claims that the clothing was destroyed because they hadn't received any requests for the items, a charge that the NYC Clothing Bank denies.
One of the conspiracy theories behind the clothing dump involves New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg's campaign to fight trademark infringement in the city, combined with the fact that the fashion and licensing industries donate large sums of money to the NYPD in hopes that the fight against counterfeiters will continue.
"These are people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of them millions, to get counterfeit goods off the street," Robert Tucker, a lawyer whose fashion clients include Chrome Hearts, Steve Madden, Zac Posen and Ed Hardy tells the Times.
"Everyone wants to feed and clothe the homeless. But how are you going to spend all this money and then put it back on the street?"
Yet one result of not putting the defaced goods back on the street has been a shortage of goods for those in need, especially men who rely on the clothing more than women.
So what do you think of the NYPD's actions: Is destroying unworn clothing ever justified? Leave a comment!
And you might be shocked at what's lurking on brand new clothes.