Following the immense backlash and media uproar that iconic British label Burberry received in July, the brand has announced that it will stop the burning of clothes and products deemed as “unsaleable”.
According to a statement released on its website, Burberry has noted that the decision to stop the disposal of surplus clothes is one step towards reshaping the brand with a more environmentally conscious focus. “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,” reads the statement.
Last year alone, Burberry destroyed £28.6m worth of stock, of which includes the equivalent of 81,000 of its signature plaid scarves according to annual accounts. While these numbers may appear particularly alarming for the British brand, it is worth noting that the practice of burning stock before putting it on sale is a common practice within the world of luxury fashion, according to Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution, a not-for-profit group that campaigns for greater transparency in the supply chain.
“In the case of the big brands, it’s absolutely very negative for them for them to suddenly have the same product with slashed prices,” de Castro said in a statement to The Independent. “It is brand protection, in this case. They don’t want it to go to the wrong people.” Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer of Burberry explains the change as a concrete demonstration of the brand’s interest in sustainability. “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible,” Gobbetti said. “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.”
Good on Burbz's part for standing by that. Here's to other brands following suit.