Did an Eddie Bauer store slash and toss out coats?
Yes, the incident was confirmed by the company
Eddie Bauer spokesperson, Delivering Good
It's been stupidly cold outside. We've been freezing for weeks along the East Coast.
Which is why so many people were ticked off about this Facebook post.
On December 4, 2017, Facebook user and college student Dakotah Lilly posted a video and pictures of ripped and slashed Eddie Bauer jackets and blankets on the streets outside of a New York City store.
The post says workers destroyed the coats so no one could pick one up and get a nice jacket for free.
People have been venting anger and disappointment at the company online, even starting the hashtag Boycott Eddie Bauer. Verify viewer, Lee Knoor saw the story and wanted to know if it was true.
To make sure the photos were real, we tracked down Dakotah Lilly, the guy behind the original post.
He claims he was walking home from class when he saw the coats tossed out like garbage. “These coats were two hundred, three hundred, four hundred, even five hundred dollar coats in all different sizes, children's, adults, medium, larges and even blankets were thrown into the pile and I thought this was absolutely outrageous."
To Verify Dakotah's story, our team contacted Eddie Bauer. A public relations spokesperson for Eddie Bauer sent WUSA9 researchers the following statement:
“Eddie Bauer is aware of that store having to dispose of some jackets. Leaving the jackets on the street as they were in those images is not Eddie Bauer's policy. The brand is working with that store to see why, in this isolated instance, those jackets were put on the street. Eddie Bauer has been working with it since it first saw the images. All Eddie Bauer products carry a lifetime guarantee; therefore, we receive returned products for various reasons ranging from a normal defect such as broken zipper or small tear, to heavily soiled and damaged items. These returned products that are deemed unsellable are shipped to our main distribution center where they are sorted. Any products that can be donated or salvaged are done so.
As a brand born in the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest, conservation and sustainability has always been and will continue to be at the center of Eddie Bauer's mission. We are very proud of our 20-year partnership with American Forests. Eddie Bauer also strives to reduce our global footprint through various efforts including donating our product samples to Delivering Good who distribute that product to communities in need and using only FSC certified paper in our marketing collateral and at our corporate offices. While we do not publish a formal sustainability report, you can discover more information here about how we work to improve the communities where we live and work, and how we empower our associates, customers, and partners to make meaningful differences in the lives of others.”
Eddie Bauer did confirm a similar incident reported at an outlet store back in a 2010 in Consumerist blog post, telling Verify that they worked with that store to ensure that disposing of jackets aligned with Eddie Bauer policy and made sure that jackets were not unnecessarily disposed of moving forward.
The since their partnership with Delivering Good started in April 2014, they have donated 2,800 sample boxes of jackets, $1.35 million in product.