My roommate and I don’t have a car.  Recently, she went on an expedition to buy several huge bags of mulch for the garden. While in the checkout queue, she mused to the cashier about whether a cab would be cool with such a cargo “don’t like your chances” was the reply. Well, she got home on such a high because a kind lady behind her in the line offered to give her a lift. She said to the Good Samaritan: “Come back in a few months and we’ll give you some veges!” and the woman said “Oh, just do a good turn for someone else- that will be my thanks”.

Simple and lovely.  Maybe having that fresh in my mind is why I reacted with such disgust at this piece about H & M.  The New York Times told this story of senseless waste:

At the back entrance on 35th Street, awaiting trash haulers, were bags of garments that appear to have never been worn. And to make sure that they never would be worn or sold, someone had slashed most of them with box cutters or razors, a familiar sight outside H & M’s back door. The man and woman were there to salvage what had not been destroyed. It is winter. A third of the city is poor. And unworn clothing is being destroyed nightly.”

I know how cold NYC gets and to make it more ridiculous “Directly around the corner from H & M is a big collection point for New York Cares, which conducts an annual coat drive.”

Despite numerous attempts for comment, H & M did not respond.  It’s the New York Times folks- you should probably not ignore. The reporter sticks the knife in even deeper by pointing out that their websites claims “that to save paper, it has shrunk its shipping labels.” Ahhhh, can you say PR FAIL?

I realize it is probably some convoluted “company policy” crap but surely sometimes Giving Back™ can just be a simple matter.

Look how simple and wildly effective the recent Breast Cancer Awareness Facebook “Bra Color” viral stunt has been.  Women all over the world are posting single word updates with the color of their bra, hence the barrage of “black,” “red,” and “nothing” in status feeds.   Mashable says a Detroit blog suggests that the color update craze was started by women in Detroit who are trying to raise awareness around Breast Cancer (though October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month).” It’s got people literally talking about it… “What’s with all the color updates??”

I know the link between these three things is fairly tenuous, but I guess the point I’m trying to make is: don’t over think Giving Back.  The very nature of the wave is simple: DO GOOD.  As the saying goes “when you give, you receive” so don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

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