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Kathmandu merchandise has been deliberately destroyed by staff and tossed in a landfill bin. (Article and photos: Nicole Barratt)

Kathmandu Takapuna is deliberately destroying stock and sending it to landfill.

Four Barrys Point Rd workers have reported witnessing Kathmandu staff “slashing sleeping bags” and “slicing through clothing” before tossing the damaged goods into dumpsters.

Kathmandu’s website states: “We strive to limit the waste generated from our products and our operations.”

Kathmandu also aims to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2018.

Jamie Giles, an employee of a neighbouring store, said he has witnessed Kathmandu staff destroying and dumping their stock “at least five times” in the last year.

Giles said: “They wheel trolleys to the bins and often they’ll set up tables. Then they slash everything with box cutters to the point where it’s unusable.”

Giles said Kathmandu aren’t discreet about destroying their stock.

“Last week they slashed two six-person tents in broad daylight.”

Barrys Point Rd worker Anna Horley has also witnessed Kathmandu staff slashing clothing and camping equipment.

“There’s a homeless man who lives in the carpark next to Kathmandu, and the staff are slashing sleeping bags and tents right in front of him,” Horley said.

When approached for comment Kathmandu Takapuna’s manager said: “I’m not at liberty to make a comment. If you want to discuss it further you’ll have to go through head office.”

An Auckland Council environment and waste representative said there were “no rules” regarding retail outlets’ disposal of clothing.

Kathmandu’s 2015 Sustainability Report says the company is “an industry leader in sustainability”.

“At Kathmandu, we passionately believe in operating a responsible and ethical business,” the report reads.

Diverting waste from landfill to more sustainable sources is listed as a priority.

Zero Waste New Zealand define Zero Waste as the following: “A goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary. . .where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

To align with the values of Zero Waste, products must be made to be reused, repaired, recycled or composted.

It is unknown if this dumping is a widespread practice or limited to Kathmandu Takapuna.

In 2006 Kathmandu was fully acquired by Australasian private equity company Technology Assets Limited for $275 million.

The Christchurch-founded company specialises in outdoor apparel and equipment.

There are 20 Kathmandu stores across New Zealand and 26 overseas.

*EDIT: Kathmandu have responded in a comment: “Kathmandu is investigating the circumstances surrounding the disposal of stock at our Takapuna store in Auckland, NZ. . . We are committed to zero to waste landfill by 2018, as part of our sustainability plan and will continue to work on best practice ways to manage faulty product.”

A Kathmandu employee who wishes to remain anonymous has also confirmed this practice is not limited to Kathmandu Takapuna.

NZ Herald feature: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11646712

(Below: Slashed Kathmandu merchandise in the landfill bin behind the store. All photos property of Nicole Barratt).

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A diagram from Kathmandu’s 2015 Sustainability Report

 

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(Image one: A Kathmandu staff member slashes an airbed pump. Image two: Two Kathmandu staff members destroy a six-person tent).

Note: All photos and words property of Nicole Barratt. If any content is used elsewhere you MUST contact me first and credit me with my name and a link to Sixfoot Journalism.

 

 

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71 thoughts on “Kathmandu destroys stock, sends to landfill

  1. Absolutely spot-on ‘notimpressed’. This is common practice in retail as I see it with my own eyes. I am also trying to stop this happening but it is a policy that is very difficult to override unless stock is donated in secret. As you say, this is just another case of a broken system and will only change when profit is no longer what drives our lives. Makes me sick. We need this to be all over the news everyday.

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    • The problem is that profit seems to drive everything. I heard a comment on the National Program about the charter schools that they returned a9% profit….it’s EDUCATION not a business. That’s also why we are in the midst of a housing CRISIS. There aspirated to be no social conscience in the public sector anymore.

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  2. What a waste. They’re all about getting people into the outdoors, and then they dump their merchandise in a landfill, thats completely usable before they wrecked it.
    Dumping this kind of stuff is doing nothing good to help protect the very environment their products are encouraging us to emerse ourselves in. Our future children have to live in that rubbish, it won’t break down in 20 years, they don’t have choice, but you do!

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  3. I just cannot believe this, perfect quality clothing being thrown away. There are so many institutes trying to raise money to survive to help their members. I am an active member of The Multiple Sclerosis Society in Palmerston North (called Mid Central Health) and they battle annually to find donations to keep the staff employed and general expenses of running a business. I have recently moved from Rural Waitarere Beach Levin to live in central Palmerston.
    Please consider donating these throw away goods for use in our Society, fund raising mainly in our September annual Appeal day. You can contact Mid Central Health at phone 06 357-3188. Tell them Maree put this post in.

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  4. There are genuine reasons why this is a necessary practice. Many items are either returned faulty or arrive in store damaged from transport. No one wants a tent that isn’t waterproof, or a mouldy sleeping bag. And in order to stop someone taking a sleeping bag they don’t know is mouldy, you make it obviously unusable. It doesn’t seem like this was investigated as thoroughly as it could have been. That said, a store manager should have been able to explain this.

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  5. kathmandu have posted in another blog all the stock was damaged and had been credited to the customer. The stock was destroyed to stop a second person finding it and claiming a second credit.

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  6. Gee Nicole,
    Love your work, teach them well and show them we care for our next generation …

    ‘One persons trash is another persons treasure’. Right? This is what we teach and preach to our future generations from preschool level. Guess hierarchy within Kathmandu have forgotten!!

    In all the 20+ years I have scrimped and grovelled to gather manufacturers excess/waste fibre-fill and scrap materials (from all over Auckland) to make by hand or machine – toys, clothes, quilts, pillows and blankets for babies, children and adults less fortunate than myself – I now find out I could have had access right on my doorstep.

    I am sure the volunteers who ‘work’ tirelessly for North Shore Hospital Auxillary (for patient comforts) and for our Auckland Community, would enjoy making use of Kathmandu’s valuable resources, than is happening at present. Kathmandu needs to be more considerate in disposing of their resources. I thought most New Zealanders were all for a sustainability choice!! How disappointing but not unusual. Another example of a good business with practise gone bad 😦

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  7. Surely these goods can go to refugee or low income families who couldn’t normally afford the brand. The company could think of it as advertising as I am sure that the recipient’s would tell everyone about their new goods.
    Also great PR for the company.

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