Bath & Body Works Is Under Fire From Shoppers for Doing This: "At a Loss for Words"
A recent video suggests that the retailer is not adhering to one of its policies.
Bath & Body Works is well known for its wide selection of soaps and scrubs, and it also has a devoted following when it comes to scented candles. These stores are a staple in local shopping malls, which is why they provoke intense nostalgia for so many of us—not to mention the discontinued scents we're still thinking about. But while it's usually celebrated by its loyal customers, Bath & Body Works is now facing criticism thanks to a questionable practice. Read on to find out what one shopper said left her "at a loss for words."
READ THIS NEXT: 10 Discontinued Bath & Body Works Products You'll Never See Again.
Bath & Body Works has pledged to remain eco-conscious.
Several larger companies have decided to "go green" and make an effort to mitigate their impact on the environment and natural resources. Bath & Body Works is no exception, and on its website, the company outlines its "Environmental Responsibility."
The statement claims that Bath & Body Works believes "in doing what is right in our industry, our community and our world," primarily by "conducting our business in an environmentally responsible way." The company also cites a desire to reduce its carbon footprint by using more recycled materials, while also reusing materials when possible.
But in light of a recent video on social media, some shoppers are questioning the authenticity of this statement.
A TikTok video suggests that the company may not be staying true to its word.
Despite their webpage outline efforts to stay environmentally friendly, a social media user says otherwise. A Nov. 4 video posted by Jennifer, a TikToker using the handle @eldestmillenial, shows what appears to be a dumpster full of unused Bath & Body Works shopping bags.
"From far away, I thought I saw a bag in here, and it is—it's all Bath & Body Works bags. It's the whole dumpster, from top to bottom," Jennifer says in the video, which has racked up almost 850,000 views and 126,000 likes.
She also notes that the bags are not in a designated recycling bin. In the video's caption, she added, "I'm at a loss for words over the sheer waste."
Commenters were quick to voice their disdain.
Jennifer goes on to infer that the bags were thrown out due to the upcoming holiday season—when the retailer usually switches to festive shopping bags.
"This is because of Christmas. This is because they switch to Christmas bags," she says while circling the dumpster to show more bags piled in the back. "This is the most wasteful thing I've ever seen. Can't you save these until after Christmas?"
She further calls for Bath & Body Works to "do better," with many in the comments echoing her sentiments, tagging the retailer's TikTok account to demand an explanation.
"@bathandbodyworks huh, we don't have somewhere to store them? Or even recycle or reuse them like the bag suggests," one commenter wrote, pointing to the recycling logo on the bottom of the shopping bags. Another asserted that "these companies don't care about the environment, they're still profiting so they don't care."
Former Bath & Body Works employees chimed in.
Jennifer notes that she's unsure if the decision "came down from corporate," which an ex-Bath & Body Works manager claimed might be the case, as the larger company "is RUTHLESS when it comes to efficiency."
"They do not have space for bags when they're getting 300+ boxes of shipment 2-3 times a week until Christmas," the ex-employee wrote. "Please do not be angry with the store staff or management. These decisions are started from above & they can't help it."
Even so, shoppers added that the video made them "reconsider shopping" at Bath & Body Works, while others said that they've already stopped buying from these stores. "Over priced and they're incredibly wasteful. So bad!" one comment reads.
But while the video is a bit shocking, similar practices are nothing new—at least, not according to former employees in the comment section. "I worked @bath & body works in college. They made us dump product out before throwing it out. My manager cut up $100 robes too," one ex-associate wrote.
It seems that practices vary from store to store.
Other ex-employees stated that the stores they worked at weren't wasteful and did save the generic bags, noting this could be an isolated incident.
"Yeah that's definitely that specific store," one former associate wrote. "I worked for Bbw for years and we would always save our 'core' bags because the holiday bags always runout." A separate commenter said something similar, writing, "I work at bbw…we keep ours over the christmas period."
Regardless of why the bags were thrown out, TikTokers were quick to fire off suggestions for what could've been done with them instead. Some recommended using them for gift-giving, while others called for the bags to be donated to local thrift stores, churches, or the Salvation Army.
This approach, however, was contested by the same ex-employee who claimed that decisions like these are sent down from corporate. "I worked BBW management for 3 years. They cannot donate bags because ppl would go in, fill bags, & do non receipt returns for credit," they wrote.
In a comment provided to Best Life, a spokesperson for Bath & Body Works confirmed that the issue is being looked into. "Disposing of bags in this way is not a standard practice for us and we're working to learn more about this situation," the spokesperson said.