How Coach is responding amidst slashing bags scandal

The designer company, Coach has recently come under fire for their involvement in slashing their own bags when they become out of season. A tik tok user, Anna Sacks (@thetrashwalker) went viral after having exposed their efforts. 

Coach claims to be a sustainable company, they even encourage buyers of the brand to send in their damaged bags so that they can recycle them in the name of sustainability. They dedicated a portion of their website to highlight their efforts in recycled materials. To prove that they care about the continuation of the life-cycle of their products, you can find a tab that reads “coach (re)loved” on their company website. The whole point of the program is to “create a less wasteful way of doing things”. 

The tik tok that went viral showcases their practice in purposefully slashing bags with the intention of making it impossible to resell them at a lower price. It also ups the exclusivity of the designer brand. Unsaleable merchandise is deliberately slashed and thrown in a dumpster when they have excess or go out of season. As reported on by CNN

Coach released a statement on their instagram that reinforces their stance on sustainability. Yet, they don’t apologize once for the wrongdoings committed by the company. Instead they chose to highlight their (re)loved program and their donation numbers. The kicker is that I think the only reason they even made a statement was because they got caught. 

Unfortunately, they are most likely not alone in this practice. High end brands in the fashion industry have only recently begun to create products with the concept of sustainability online. Coach is only currently the one in the hot seat (Burberry was in it in 2018). According to Vogue, it is often cheaper in the US to destroy products and send them to the landfill rather than spend money and resources on finding a way to repurpose them. Which admittedly seems a bit ironic given Coach’s alleged values in sustainability. 

Should another fashion brand get caught would they do anything differently? Would their response appease the public or would they opt to remain neutral in the situation (much like Coach did). Coach chose to say they would cease what they were doing and focus on their restoring programs. Nowhere did they claim guilt or apologize. I think the motive behind that was to avoid responsibility and keep Coach’s reputation as a high end and exclusive brand in the clear, because after all it is a fashion production norm. 

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