Burberry ends practice of destroying unsold products

Luxury fashion brand Burberry announced last week that it will stop its practice of destroying unsold products with immediate effect in an effort to become more sustainable.

According to the Guardian, British luxury fashion brand Burberry destroyed 28.6 million pounds worth of unsold products last year. Over the past five years, the company has burned a total of 105 million pounds of unsold clothes, bags and perfumes in an effort to protect its brand by preventing unwanted stock from being sold at bargain-basement prices.

But this practice – which Burberry defended by saying that the energy generated from burning the goods was captured – has come under heavy fire from environmental groups in recent years.

Burberry now agrees. Last week, the company announced that it will stop the practice of destroying unsold products as part of its five-year responsibility agenda to help tackle the causes of waste. It will also build on its efforts to reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsold products.

“Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products,” said Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti.

The company has already teamed up with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to use at least 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts from the production of Burberry products into a range of accessories and homeware over the next five years. Half of the profits from this will be donated to charitable causes focused on renewable energy

Burberrry also confirmed that it will no longer use real fur in its products. For instance, there will be no real fur in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry later this month, and it will phase out existing real fur products.

Launched in 2017, Burberry’s five-year responsibility agenda focuses on three goals, including becoming carbon neutral and revaluing waste. According to its press release, it is more than a third of the way to its goal of becoming carbon neutral in its own operations, and it is also helping its supply-chain partners cut their water and energy consumption.

Image credit: Sai De Silva via Unsplash

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