Retailers like Wal-Mart and H&M feel that excess inventory should be in a landfill rather than on the backs of poor. And to make sure that people desperate and industrious enough to rummage through the trash for clothing can’t get anything for free, they cut up the garments before tossing them out. I know that these companies are operating completely within their legal rights, but either it’s morally acceptable to toss out brand new clothes in a city where people can use them, or it isn’t. As far as I’m concerned, it is not.
Update: Marco Arment explains that the destruction of the clothing is a product of arrangements between suppliers and retailers, which is what I suspected was going on. It’s a thorny problem.