Burberry has destroyed millions of pounds worth of stock in the last month, despite claiming in their annual report that they are committed to recycling and reducing any waste they create.
The brand has claimed that they were obliged to do this in order to protect its intellectual property and to prevent illegal counterfeiting.
However many feel that the reason is more so to keep the brand ‘exclusive’ and stop the ‘wrong’ type of people from wearing the brand, and in turn ‘devaluing’ Burberry.
Although Burberry claims to only dispose of products when necessary and to seek ways to reduce waste, this is hard to believe, because the brand’s value of waste has actually increased by 50% in the last two years, and is nearly six times as much as it was in 2013.
The company have also previously stated that they always dispose of waste responsibly, but have admitted that unwanted stock is in fact burnt instead of being recycled. Not really the most responsible method now is it?
Even the option of offering unsold products to private investors, would have been better in regards to reducing profit losses, and negative environmental impacts of the brand.
As a company that declares they take the problem of dangerous chemicals within the fashion industry seriously, it’s questionable how they will release potentially harmful substances into the atmosphere without any disregard for the consequences.
Although the brand is known as a luxury label, it could be said their latest actions show they have little respect for the hard work and resources that it has taken to make their products.
A spokesperson from Friends of the Earth said:
“Burning clothes is a shocking waste of resources, showing no regard for people in the UK who have to scour charity shops to put a shirt on their back, nor to the millions overseas living in poverty.”
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was recently set up to combat global fashion waste by recycling and reusing materials. Major brands like H&M, Gap, Nike, Stella McCartney and Burberry have signed up to develop practical ways to reduce pollution. But has Burberry’s latest mass destruction of its products has completely contradicted this?
We already know that the fashion industry is one of the largest causes of pollution within the fashion world, and instances like this just expose the industry as having little regard for the people or well-being of the planet.
Do you think it was really necessary for Burberry to dispose of unsold products in order to remain exclusive?
Let us know what you think!
Text: Chloe Humphries
Images: Standard.co.uk, Reuters, Fashionista.com, Ellenmacarthurfoundation.org, TheGuardian.com