Vans Responds to TikTok Controversy Over Destroyed Shoes

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A woman in Philadelphia is going viral on social media for voicing her concern over alledgedly seeing a Vans employee dumping a pile of destroyed sneakers in front of the store.

TikTok user @soso_swag shared a clip of the incident on the platform on Tuesday, and the video has amassed 2.4 million views at the time of writing. According to the post, not only did the Vans employee throw out the sneakers in front of the store. but she poster also alleges that the pairs were purposely cut up and destroyed so that people were not able to use them.

“The products were deemed unsafe to donate due to organic growth caused by external and environmental factors,” a Vans spokesperson told Complex in a statement.

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Despite Vans confirming that the sneakers were destroyed due to mold and were not able to be donated, some users are calling out the brand’s current sneaker disposal protocols for wastefulness and a lack of eco-friendliness.

Vans isn’t the only sneaker company that has been called out for destroying its products and throwing them out on the streets. In 2017, several trash bags stuffed with destroyed sneakers and gear were found outside of Nike’s SoHo location. Meanwhile, fashion brands often face scrutiny for destroying product in effort to preserve brand value.

“Vans will always prioritize the donation of usable products to those in need. After investigating the situation at our Walnut St. location, we have confirmed that these products were deemed unsafe to donate,” Vans said in a statement. “That said, we are actively revisiting our retail protocols to ensure that products are properly recycled.”

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