Shop criticised for tearing up unsold clothes during cold snap

Torn-up clothes abandoned on Celio's roller shutter grillesImage copyrightNathalie Beauval

A clothes store in France has been criticised for cutting up and abandoning unsold clothes outside their shop instead of giving them away to homeless people.

On Saturday, shopper Nathalie Beauval, spotted torn up clothes hanging on roller shutter grilles outside men’s clothes shop Celio in Rouen.

Image copyrightNAthalie Beauval

Ms Beauval posted photos of the unwanted clothes on her Facebook page. Her post has since been shared more than 20,000 times, and has had thousands of comments and reactions.

Skip Facebook post by Nathalie

Exposition de la poubelle de Celio, rue du Gros Horloge à Rouen. (Artiste inconnu).Celio jette ses vêtements …

Posted by Nathalie Beauval on Saturday, 3 February 2018

Shop criticised for tearing up unsold clothes during cold snap
Shop criticised for tearing up unsold clothes during cold snap

End of Facebook post by Nathalie

In her Facebook post, Ms Beauval says she finds it disappointing that shop workers threw away unsold clothes when many people need warm clothes during the cold spell. She added that there are homeless people sleeping near the shop.

Others have also claimed that they have seen torn up clothes outside different stores across France.

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Some Twitter users have tweeted Celio to voice their criticism of the store’s practices. But the company has defended their stance on Twitter, by claiming the torn up clothes were unusable because they had holes, tears and stains on them and that it is their policy to destroy unwearable clothes.

Skip Twitter post by @celio

Les produits détruits concernent uniquement des articles totalement importables : trous, déchirures, grosses tâches indélébiles.

Celio soutient ADN (Agence du Don en Nature) par des dons réguliers de produits, qui les redistribue ensuite à plus de 750 associations en France.

— celio* (@celio) February 5, 2018

End of Twitter post by @celio

They said they work with a national charitable association and donate discontinued stock regularly.

Speaking to local media, Celio staff at the Rouen store said the torn up clothes have water damage, leaving them unfit for sale or donation.

Image copyrightAFP/Getty Images

France has been experiencing a particularly cold winter that has left much of the country on alert. Areas including Paris have come to a halt because of heavy snowfall.

French authorities said thousands of emergency accommodation spaces will be opened to shelter the homeless from the cold weather.

The BBC asked the British Retail Consortium, a trade association, if high street retailers have a policy on dealing with unsold clothes.

A spokesperson said: “Items that are left unsold even after being discounted in sales, or in the retailers’ own discount or seconds outlets are usually sold on in bulk to third party wholesalers who in turn sell them on.

“They may end up in independent discount shops or on market stalls. It is only usually damaged clothing that may be destroyed.”

The BBC has contacted Celio for comment.

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