“Found about six of these!” they exclaimed in a caption.
Sourcing this knitwear from the dumpster will have saved this Redditor a pretty penny. The original retail price for this heather gray beanie was $12.99 each, which would put the total value of the haul at $77.94.
It’s no wonder that dumpster diving has been gaining attention on social media platforms like TikTok, where users share their conquests to highlight wastefulness among brands.
Urban Outfitters, H&M, and Nike are just some of the fashion brands that stand accused of having thrown out unsold but otherwise perfectly wearable items of clothing.
While dumpster diving is technically legal in all 50 of the United States, many brands go out of their way to make the clothes they throw out unusable for those who try it.
One TikTok video revealed a Victoria’s Secret employee cutting up unsold stock before throwing it out.
This practice does nothing to combat the fashion industry’s significant waste problem, which sends 92 million tons of textiles to landfills each year — the equivalent of around 252 Empire State Buildings.
Yet in spite of this surplus, clothing production doubled between 2000 and 2015, accelerating the creation of clothes that will never be worn.
That will have needlessly worsened the environmental impact of clothing production too. Making one cotton t-shirt uses 2,700 liters of water, for example, which is enough to keep one person hydrated for more than two years.
Fashion’s contribution to water scarcity is all the more galling given much of its product will never be worn.
Dumpster diving is one way that consumers can fight back against the industry’s wastefulness while saving a bit of money for themselves.
Fellow Redditors were impressed with the Old Navy haul, commending the original poster in the comments.
“Nice find,” said one.
“Good find before winter starts,” another agreed.
“I give things like that to a friend who is an advocate for the local homeless. If your surplus could find a way to help, it would be a blessing,” another suggested.
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