The company’s website proclaims that "Coach and its Tapestry family are proud to be named one of Barron’s 2020 Most Sustainable Companies in America." Further down its page, it notes ways to care for and treat leather products, including a plea: "Don’t chuck it, repair it!"
However, TikTok user Anna Sacks, with the username @thetrashwalker, Coach is just putting on a show.
"So excited to show you all the Coach purses that I’ve bought from @dumpsterdivingmama," Sacks said in her video that has over 580,000 likes and 2.5 million views. "As you can see, they’re all slashed, which is Coach’s policy."
Sacks claimed that Coach takes unwanted merchandise and orders employees to deliberately slash it as part of a tax loophole that lets them write off merchandise as accidentally destroyed.
Without making reference to Sacks' video, though, Coach announced in an Instagram post on Tuesday that it would cease destroying "damaged or unsalable goods" as part of its commitment to "leading with purpose and embracing our responsibility as a global fashion brand."
The move comes at a time when Coach has launched an expensive global fall campaign featuring celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Michael B. Jordan to give itself an image of "community" and "togetherness," per Hola US. The campaign aims to focus on "helping break cycles of inequality by empowering the next generation to reach their full potential through higher education."
Sacks did pledge to give Coach a chance to back up its talk and repair the merchandise as part of its one-year warranty program.
"We offer a one-year warranty on our leathergoods for all quality defects," Coach says on its company website. "After that, the wonderful craftspeople at our very own repair shop will work their magic for anywhere between $45 and $110."
Coach stresses that the policy will apply to all Coach products, even "hand-me-downs."
Eco-rating website "Good One You" rated Coach’s sustainability commitment as "not good enough," citing a lack of steps taken to reduce supply chain emissions or provide more eco-friendly materials.
Other companies engage in a similar practice to destroy unwanted inventory: Burberry used to burn unsold goods, but committed in 2018 to stop the practice after reports indicated that the company had destroyed over $36 million in clothing and perfume, the BBC reported.