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A bridal shop went out of business in an upscale Minneapolis suburb. They announced their closing last August. A woman who runs a non-profit that provides prom dresses and wedding gowns to low income women and girls contacted them asking about the possibility of donations for her group. She did not get a response.

“It makes me so mad,” she said, “they could have recycled them, they could have donated them. What makes me even madder is that I asked about that over a month ago when I found out they were closing and got no response. …It’s corporate irresponsibility,” she said. “It’s just an ugly thing to do. They could have cut the tags off.”

The linked article has a photo of $4,000 wedding dresses hanging over a dumpster in the back of the store. An employee is spraying them with red paint to prevent them from being worn by anyone. Apparently the high end designers ask that stores destroy the goods.

“Many retailers who buy high-end designer product have an agreement they won’t resell to a secondary market,” he said. “Sometimes even donated goods end up online or in thrift stores, and that destroys the value of the label, of the full-price market.”

Are you following the logic and the language of privilege? Rich people wouldn’t value (pay full price for) a Vera Wang dress if they thought some poor person was wearing the same dress. Wow. It’s not like the two of them are going to have their receptions at the same place on the same day. It’s not like they might meet on the city bus and realize they are wearing the same dress.

And, in a new definition of dumpster diving:

Minneapolis resident Martha Allen, who saw more than a dozen dresses being dumped, said that within half an hour, “people were crawling in there, pulling them out and even pulling them apart, because they had a lot of bling on them. One woman pulled out a label and said, ‘My God, it’s a Vera Wang.'”

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