Environmental activist Anna Sacks has accused luxury brand Coach of slashing unsold bags and tossing them in the trash in a viral TikTok video. After the video brought them severe backlashes, Coach has announced that it will "cease destroying" the returned merchandise.

In the video posted by Sacks on her TikTok account @tdheetrashwalker, she showed slashed purses she purchased from Dumpster Diving Mama, an influencer who found them in a Coach store dumpster in Dallas. 

The video has fetched more than 2.2 million views and raised serious discussions about the company's policy of sustainability.

 "This is what they do with unwanted merchandise, they order an employee to deliberately slash it so no one can use it," Sacks said while showing the collection of ruined bags she found.

 “And then they write it off as a tax write-off under the same tax loophole as if it was inadvertently destroyed,” she accused.

Meanwhile, Coach said in a statement that it "is not claiming any tax benefits for in-store returns that are unsalable and not able to be donated that were destroyed in store.” 

"We have now ceased destroying in-store returns of damaged and unsaleable goods and are dedicated to maximizing such product reuse in our Coach (Re)Loved and other circulatory programs," Coach announced on  Instagram.

However, Sacks is critical about the step and hopes to see the brand stop destroying all of the items it deems unsellable, not just the returned merchandise. “I think it’s a step in the right direction, but I also think it seemed deliberately limiting,” she told  Forbes.

@thetrashwalker

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Sacks also criticized the company for its repair program that encourages consumers to fix their leather goods while the company itself orders slashing their products." But according to their website, they really care about sustainability," she criticized.

These products were returned or were otherwise damaged and unable to be sold or donated and totaled up to 1% of their products globally, Coach said in a statement to Forbes. They also confirmed that 40% of their stores already offered to fix broken bags or accessories.

The company also said that they donated products valued at over $55 million last year to support low-income families and individuals in need.

 It is a common practice for many luxury brands to destroy their excess stocks to encourage the buyers to opt for new styles and retain the brand's exclusivity.

Coach inc handbag Coach sees stronger growth in China. Photo: Reuters