Burberry Will No Longer Burn Bags It Can’t Sell

As of today, Burberry will stop burning unsold stock immediately. The brand justified burning tens of millions of dollars of unsold goods to preserve its brand value by keeping undesirable items from being stolen or sold at significant markdowns. Since this practice was highly criticized by politicians, campaigners and others, the company was forced to act to preserve its reputation.

 

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The past year, Burberry burned 28.6 million pounds ($37-million) worth of clothing and cosmetics. The company is Britain’s largest luxury label by sales. Burberry was not alone in this practice. Many other companies in the retail and consumer industry, such as Louis Vuitton and Nike, also deliberately destroyed their inventory to prevent the devaluing of high-end price tags they can get in stores.

 

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According to Kirsten Brodde, head of the Detox My Fashion campaign at Greenpeace, “Burberry shows no respect for its own products and the hard work and natural resources that are used to make them.” As younger shoppers have become more ethically and environmentally aware, Burberry’s practice became more harmful to their image. Burberry also announced they would stop selling any product with real animal fur and would phase out existing fur products.

 

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This is not the first time that Burberry has faced a problem with their brand image, and declining sales in the 1990s and 2000s forced the company to rebuild. In 2017, Burberry announced a five-year “responsibility agenda” to reuse, donate, and recycle unsold products. Mr. Marco Gobbetti, who became CEO last year, vowed to overhaul company practices. Burberry is now in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to prevent waste in the retail industry and with sustainable luxury organization Elvis & Kresse to reuse 120 tons of leather cut-offs into new products over the next five years. In addition, the company set up a research group at the Royal College of Art to invent sustainable materials.

Featured Image: Instagram/ @burberry
Source: NYTimes.com