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).
(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.