Burberry burns £2.8 m of clothes and cosmetics to protect its brand

Burberry to stop burning unsold clothes and using real fur

‘Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible’

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Thursday 06 September 2018 14:40
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Burberry has announced that it’s going to stop destroying clothes that it’s deemed as “unsaleable” and will no longer manufacture products using real fur.

The announcement comes following the huge backlash that the designer brand received in July, when it was revealed that it had burned £28.6 million of clothes and cosmetics in the past year to “protect its brand.”

In a statement released on its website, Burberry explains that the decision to stop disposing of surplus clothes without delay is part of a new strategy put into place last year to become a more environmentally conscious brand.

“This commitment builds on the goals that we set last year as part of our five-year responsibility agenda and is supported by our new strategy, which is helping tackle the causes of waste,” the statement reads.

“We already reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts.”

Burberry has destroyed more than £90 million worth of products over the past five years, with the total amount of incinerated stock increasing annually.

Marco Gobbetti, chief executive officer of Burberry, explains that sustainability is a significant element of the brand’s ethos, which is why they’re implementing the changes.

“Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible,” he says.

“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.”

In 2017, it was reported that the Burberry Foundation had awarded a grant of £3 million to the Royal College of Art to establish the Burberry Material Futures Research Group, an organisation with the aim of creating new, sustainable materials.

Furthermore, in May the designer brand was named a core partner of the Make Fashion Circular Initiative, which strives to reduce waste in the fashion industry.

Wendy Higgins, director of international media at Humane Society International UK, has expressed her happiness over Burberry’s decision to stop using real fur.

“HSI first met with Burberry almost a decade ago to urge the brand to drop fur, so we are delighted that this iconic British fashion giant is finally going fur free,” she says.

Burberry burns £2.8 m of clothes and cosmetics to protect its brand

“Most British consumers don’t want anything to do with the cruelty of fur and so this is absolutely the right decision by this quintessentially British brand.

“Burberry is very wise to be ending its association with fur and it joins the ranks of an ever increasing number of top designers like Gucci, Michael Kors, DKNY and Versace, who have also realised that real fur has no future in fashion.”

Earlier this year, MPs claimed that Brexit will allow the UK to have a greater degree of control over the sale of real fur in high street shops that’d been labelled as fake.

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