Commenters on a viral video have been torn after a Goodwill employee was filmed removing several pairs of Nike and Off-White sneakers from a donation bin.
Posted by TikTok user @fozzyozzyy, the clip has been liked over 193,000 times and received 5,288 comments.
Captioned, “Goodwill workers really pulled 4 pairs of off-white sneakers out of a trash can and took them to the back”, the TikTok shows a Goodwill employee removing several pairs of sneakers from a a trash can and walk away. While the caption states that the employee removed four pairs of sneakers, the exact models of each pair are unclear – but two pairs included in the viral video are apparently identifiable.
One pair appears to be a Nike Air Presto Off-White in the sneaker’s Black colourway. The other appears to be an Off-White Air Jordan Retro 1 High in the sneaker’s Chicago colorway. Both sneakers were part of Virgil Abloh’s first line of ten Nike Off-White designs in 2018. Abloh, who founded Off-White and served as artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection, died on 28 November 2021.
According to StockX, a leading sneaker resale site, the Nike Air Presto Off-White 2018 has resold for an average price of $946 over the past 12 months. The Off-White Air Jordan 1 Retro High Chicago 2018 resold for an average price of $6,133 during the same period.
Responding to the TikTok viral, user @diangelessss speculated that the employee who removed the sneakers did so to keep them for himself and to make a profit.
“…and the person who gave them thought they were helping the less fortunate…”, they commented. It has been liked over 6,500 times.
Many commenters echoed similar sentiments, calling out the Goodwill employee for allegedly taking the sneakers for himself. But in a comment that has been liked nearly 2,000 times, TikTok user @alyssaaclarke suggested another possibility.
“100%,” they commented, agreeing with the TikTok caption. “Because Goodwill has a website to bid on their items to raise funds.”
In addition to more than 3,200 retail stores across the United States, customers can shop for clothing and other items donated to Goodwill on the nonprofit’s digital platform, ShopGoodwill.com. Like on eBay or any other auction platform, customers can bid on products ranging from jewelry and electronics to office supplies and musical instruments. In 2018, Goodwill reported that its online shopping service had generated more than $515 million in sales since launching ShopGoodWill.com in 1999.
Goodwill’s mission statement includes the nonprofit’s intent to “enhance the dignity and quality of life of people by strengthening their communities, removing their barriers to opportunity, and helping them achieve their full potential through learning and the power of work”.
Amid a sea of comments accusing the employee of taking the sneakers out of the trash for profit, other TikTok users said they would have done the same thing themselves, or that other reviewers have no idea what the employee was doing with the sneakers.
Several commentators wrote that Goodwill employees should be able to choose from donated items, while others threatened never to donate to or buy from Goodwill again. However, in a comment that has been liked over 13,000 times, a TikTok user who claimed to work at Goodwill attempted to explain what is really going on in the viral video.
“I work in a Goodwill”, they commented. “They force us to take ‘expensive’ items and move them to another box in the back, so the company can resell them online.”
Newsweek has reached out to Goodwill and TikTok users @fozzyozzyy for comment.