17 October 2018

Burberry reportedly admits burning $36 million of product

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The luxury British fashion label Burberry has come under fire this week for its practice of burning unwanted products. In the past year alone, Burberry has destroyed more than £28 million worth of goods (around 36 million USD). reports citing The Times.

Basically, Burberry is opting to destroy its products in an effort to protect its exclusivity, especially since the brand has been a favourite of counterfeiters on the black market. In The Times report, Burberry admitted to burning unwanted stock, but said that it uses special incinerators to “harness energy.” While the process may be somewhat sustainable, Burberry has still burned up more than £90 million worth of its products in the past five years.

While Burberry is certainly not the only fashion brand to do this (burning excess product is common practice in the luxury fashion world), the practice is still causing for concern. The brand told The Times that it takes the issue of waste “extremely seriously,” explaining that “more cosmetics than usual” had to be wiped out because the American company Coty had purchased its beauty line and the licensing agreement required them to destroy more product than usual.

In a statement to Teen Vogue, a spokesperson explained: “Burberry has careful processes in place to minimise [sic] the amount of excess stock we produce. On the occasions when disposal of products is necessary, we do so in a responsible manner and we continue to seek ways to reduce and revalue our waste. This is a core part of our Responsibility strategy to 2022 and we have forged partnerships and committed support to innovative organizations to help reach this goal. One example is our partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular Initiative, where we join other leading organisations [sic] to work towards a circular fashion economy.”

Sustainability in fashion has become an increasingly hot topic as awareness grows around how massive the problem of textile waste really is. From the fast fashion cycles that create excess stock to reports of fashion houses burning clothing instead of recycling it, it's clear that there needs to be a major change across all spectrums of the industry.

2018.07.20 / 17:43
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