Burberry to reuse, repair and recycle unsaleable products after green criticism

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(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur 6th, Aug, 2018) London, Uk – –

Company will reuse, repair or recycle unsaleable products and end use of real fur

Burberry is to end its practice of burning unsold clothes, bags and perfume and will also stop using real fur after criticism from environmental campaigners.

The British fashion house destroyed unsold products worth £28.6m last year to protect its brand, taking the value of items destroyed over the past five years to more than £90m. It has previously defended its practice by saying that the energy generated from burning its goods was captured.

However, the company now says it will reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products. It will also end the use of real fur and says the debut collection from its new chief creative officer, Riccardo Tisci, will not feature any fur. Existing fur products will be phased out.

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Burberry’s chief executive, Marco Gobbetti, said: “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. 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.”

It is a common practice among fashion firms to destroy unsold items to prevent them being stolen or sold cheaply.

Earlier this year it emerged that the Swiss watchmaker Richemont, which owns the Cartier and Montblanc brands, had destroyed nearly €500m of its designer timepieces over the past two years to avoid them being sold at knockdown prices.

However, Burberry shareholders have questioned why the unsold products were not offered to the company’s private investors. Greenpeace said the practice of burning unsold goods showed “no respect for its own products and the hard work and natural resources that are used to make them”.

Burberry reiterated that it takes its environmental obligations seriously and in May joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative to prevent waste in the industry.

By Julia Kollewe