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BLUF: Is there an appropriate way to dispose of company logo apparel after changing jobs?

After changing companies three years ago I was left with a lot of logo apparel. In fact it is a large Rubbermaid container full. I would like to donate them to Salvation Army or Goodwill but I am hesitant due to an incident at my former employer.

One of their plants held an open house when it opened and handed out hats, T-shirts, etc. 10 years later a local man murdered his wife and when arrested had on a hat from the plant. Naturally the local papers said "Employee Murders Wife". This man was never an employee of the company.

Is there an appropriate way to dispose of these shirts, jackets, etc. or is donating them acceptable? Am I over reacting based on this one incident?

Thank you all in advance.

J. Michael Stahl

scm2423's picture

Is the logo wear you own or was it stuff you were supposed to distribute as part of your job?  If you own it you should be free do donate.  But if it was company supplies you should contact them and ask them what they would like you to do with it.

 

JMStahl's picture

Thanks for the feedback scm2423. These are all my personal items. I feel much better about donating them. 

Thanks again!

williamelledgepe's picture

You have to consider the value and rights related to the logo of your previous company. They distributed it to you (or you purchased it) because you represented their brand. A company has the right to control its logo/brand and the distribution of anything displaying that logo.
My company is a fairly visible organization in the local press (and national on occasion). Someone was photographed wearing one of our 6" medallion patches while DJ'ing a large music/dance event. That photo ended up in the paper even though his actions did not represent the organization.
Technically speaking your former company should probably have had some kind of form regarding the secondary use of those items - similar to keys or hardware, but without a requirement to return it. My company doesn't have such a form, but we do have a written policy detailing inappropriate use of anything with our logo. Donating clothing items with our logo is on the list of unacceptable actions. Before I could donate clothing to my daughter's High School I had to remove the patches and some of the embroidery.
The clothing is surely yours, but you don't own the right to distribute the logo. It may not be a big deal, but I wouldn't give the clothes away.
I recommend you use them for yard/house work or other activities that are likely to be dirty. I even use some of the polos from my previous company as gym clothes.