Second-hand clothing store Recycle Boutique has faced controversy after dumping unwanted clothes at zero waste festival, Splore.
The music and art festival which ran over a weekend in late February had featured Recycle Boutique as one of its vendors and has done for the last three years.
The clothes dumped at the festival were noticed by volunteer workers who took a photo, to which a Splore spokesperson state was, “naturally very disappointing.”
The clothes dumped at Splore
Recycle Boutique is a non-profit organization that works through taking peoples' second-hand items and selling them on so they don’t go into a landfill.
Mark Cowie, Recycle Boutique's New Zealand operations manager, defended the staff's actions, stating that due to harsh weather conditions the staff were unable to remove the clothes until the next day.
Harsh weather conditions hindered vehicles from entering the festival.
“[The clothes] were left in a neat pile with the view of picking up the next day. Unfortunately, the person responsible took ill and was in hospital for a week from that evening.”
Cowie says that head office was completely unaware of the situation, but went back immediately to collect the clothes after finding out they remained at the zero-waste festival.
“We have worked closely with Splore and the staff involved to find out exactly why this happened. The staff have been disciplined internally and we have put new rules and communication systems in place to make sure this never happens again.”
Dispite the slip-up, people have been mostly forgiving about the incident. Recycle Boutique and its team remain “mortified” over what has happened.
“People have understood it is an HR issue, not a company policy,” Says Cowie. “Recycle Boutique Auckland loves being a part of Splore and have worked hard after what happened to apologise and rectify the situation as best as possible to make sure it never happens again.”
The original article posted on the 24th of February by 1 News Now, states that when Splore got in contact with Recycle Boutique they were extremely apologetic over their actions.