Burberry London, a luxury fashion brand, will no longer burn their unsold luxury items to protect its brand after the public learned that they destroyed nearly $ 40 million in annual stock value. This could increase the amount of waste in the fashion industry.
They recently announced that they will end the practice of destroying products that cannot be sold through incineration immediately. When the company’s annual report revealed that they had destroyed surplus and cosmetic clothing worth at least £ 28.6 million in 2017, many top industry figures are protested.
One of them was Orsola de Castro from the Fashion Revolution because she was strongly opposed to the practice. However, there is a striking silence shown by the majority of luxury brands and retailers regarding this stock destruction method.
Burberry also stressed out that they would reduce the use of animal fur like a raccoon from their collection. This step puts more pressure on other high-end brands to follow this. But this is a positive step and get a positive response from the community of animal lovers around the world, especially in Europe and the United States.
In July this year, the waste disclosure from Burberry came just months after the owners of Cartier and Montblanc also admitted that they destroyed some of their unsold watches and coincided with increasing public awareness of waste and its environmental impact.
Burberry London is a Luxury Classic Brand
Modern luxury means being enviromentally and socially responsibl said CEO Marco Gobbetti, who made Burberry more classy. The Burberry coat sells for more than 2,500 pounds ($ 3,234) and the bag priced at 1,500 pounds.
Many retailers have been summoned in recent years because they have destroyed unsold stocks, including by cutting or punching clothes before throwing them away.
Richemont, one of the owners of luxury watches, said that he had bought back unsold stocks from dealers during the recent downturn and recycled precious metals and stones in their luxury watch collections.
Burberry was physically proven to destroy 28.6 million pounds of finished goods in the financial year to April, up from 26.9 million pounds in the previous year, including 10 million pounds or nearly 5 million kilograms of beauty products such as perfume.
These products are generally not sold through discount outlets and already more than five years old. Burberry said they would try to reuse, repair, donate or recycle its products while another strategy is to make more collections that are more targeted to certain customers and will help to reduce the excess stock.
Elvis & Kresse, a sustainable luxury company, has been able to convert the remaining 120 tons of leather into new products over the next five years.
Burberry London Tries to Develop Awareness
Luca Solca, who is an analysis of Exane, said Burberry’s announcement could put pressure on other luxury names to be more transparent about how they handle unsold goods. “Concerns about sustainability are slowly but surely becoming more relevant to consumers of luxury goods,” he continued.
Some luxury brands offer sales to employees and journalists to limit unsold stocks. Both Kering who is the owner of Gucci and Alexander McQueen also LVMH, owners of Louis Vuitton, Celine, Christian Dior, and Givenchy, refused to comment.
Chanel said that they did everything they could to avoid destroying stocks, including selling goods from previous collections to employees and partners, and another solution was to start production of goods after receiving orders from buyers.
The problem of excess stock is, in terms of volume is a much bigger problem on the mass market, where retailers and consumers are buying quickly through different styles all the time.
Greenpeace said 73 percent of textile fibers used to produce more than 100 billion garments each year ended in the final disposal or incinerator after use.
H & M, the second largest fashion retailer in the world after Inditex, said in the past they also burned stocks, but only when damaged or for example, had high levels of chemicals in them. At the end of May, the Swedish brand had $ 4 billion of unsold stock hoping to sell it again without the need to destroy following in the footsteps of Burberry London.