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T. J. Maxx is Not a Thrift Store

The Truth about T.J. Maxx

T.J.Maxx, known for big name brands with little brand prices, is finally being exposed for what it truly is. After decades of hiding behind what appears to be ethical, discount shopping lays a company that continues to participate in unfair labor wages, unstainable practices and false promises. The only thrift happening at T.J.Maxx is the low prices.

Like Target, T.J.Maxx used to be one of my many choice shopping destinations. I loved the idea of stopping in and grabbing an entire outfit for under $50. I appreciated that I could still be trendy, without 'breaking the bank'. The convenience of shopping for everything in one spot was also a bit of a tantalizing experience. Little did I know how I was achieving these gains and discounted prices. Little did I know how people were being treated behind the scenes. Like Target, T.J.Maxx has become just another disappointing red and white brand.

There is nothing fair or thrift-worthy about T.J.Maxx and the way they handle business. During the pandemic, they cancelled already made orders, which meant thousands of garment workers went unpaid for work already completed. To date, they continue to ignore petitions to signing the International Accord Act, which requires safety standards to be placed within all garment facilities. Congruently, they receive "good" press for minimal foundation giving and associate volunteerism, while making no push towards overall fair-trade reform in truly helping the marginalized they employ.

On top of all this, many are under the illusion that T.J.Maxx receives its inventory as an overflow from other stores' orders, when this is simply not the case. The majority of its clothes are created specifically for their stores. In other words, they are not part of the solution in either sustainability or fair trade. In fact, it is exactly the opposite.

There is nothing thrift-worthy about T.J.Maxx. Unlike thrift stores, that actually carry clothes desired to be re-worn, upcycled and/or repurposed, they order their garments new like everyone else. It's almost worse, because they pretend to be this beautiful afterthought, as if they are saving the clothing from the big brand manufacturers. When in reality, they play the same game of ordering new, pricing it cheap, and hoping that no one knows the better.

T.J.Maxx used to be a favored shopping spot and now it’s just another name of a company making all the wrong choices for all the wrong reasons.

Sustainable + Fair

Jenny Wiglesworth

Editor in Chief

People over Product


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