Less than a year after the luxury label announced that they would no longer be using fur in their designs, Burberry is now progressing towards a plastic-free future, vowing that by 2025 all plastic packaging will either be reusable, recyclable or compostable. This comes from a recent report published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity that reinvents and drives brands to have a circular economy.
Burberry’s mission to place sustainability at the centre of their brand started back in 2004, but became more public in their actions of recent years. In 2017, the brand launched a strategy which included economically responsible goals to fulfil over the next five years, with the overall aim to become totally carbon neutral.
Last year it was revealed that, in order to protect themselves from theft or counterfeit goods, the brand destroyed unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth £28.6m, taking the total value of Burberry goods demolished over the past five years to more than £90m. Despite claims that the energy generated from burning products was captured, making it less environmentally damaging, Burberry will cease the action of eliminating unsalable products and instead tackle their issues with waste production in the following different ways.
By the end of 2019, we will see Burberry launch a coathanger recycling programme as well as replace their coathangers, bags and other packaging material with eco-friendly alternatives. The company has already eliminated plastic retail bags and garment covers, reducing a huge twenty nine tonnes of plastic alone and in collaboration with CupCycling, Burberry have upcycled 11 million coffee cups in their new paper packaging which uses FSC certified pulp and fiber.
Pam Batty, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Burberry commented that these objectives will be fulfilled by creating demand for new environmentally friendly materials and considering sustainability in every step of the manufacturing process.
As well as exploring a number of bio-based alternatives and partnering with the aforementioned Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Burberry is now part of the Renewable Energy 100 initiative – a union of more than a hundred influential global businesses that wish to review their energy consumption. International brands such as Unilever, Target, Walmart Inc., L’Oréal and Carrefour are among the 150 supporters with combined revenues of $2 trillion which contribute to 20 percent of the world’s plastic packaging.
Burberry making this stand gives us hope that more and more impactful companies, particularly within the fashion industry, join the scheme in reconsidering their economic footprint on the planet.
What steps are you taking in order to create a sustainable lifestyle? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
Text: Natalie Zannikos
Images: wwd.com, Burberry, Dazed, shezimanezi/Shutterstock.com