Burberry stops burning unsold stock and selling fur after environmental criticism

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Burberry has promised to stop burning unsold stock [Photo: Getty]
Burberry has promised to stop burning unsold stock [Photo: Getty]

Burberry has promised to stop burning unsold stock and will also stop selling real fur after criticism from environmental campaigners.

Earlier this year it was revealed that the British label destroyed £28.6 million worth of bags, clothes and other unsold items in a bid to protect its brand.

The practice is understood to be rife in the industry, as a means of preventing unwanted items falling into the hands of counterfeiters.

But despite the fashion house insisting that the incineration procedure is done in a “responsible manner”, environmental charities have criticised the brand.

Now, however, Burberry claims it will reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products.

And it is also addressing the thorny issue of fur by pledging to end the use of real fur in its products and phase out any existing fur products.

Street Style Burberry style in Oslo SS19 [Photo: Getty]
Street Style Burberry style in Oslo SS19 [Photo: Getty]

Commenting on the move Burberry’s chief executive, Marco Gobbetti, said in a press release: “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.”

The statement claims that Burberry’s commitment builds on the goals set last year as part of its five-year responsibility agenda. “We already reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts,” the press release reads.

The company goes on to reiterate how seriously it takes its environmental responsibilities by explaining it became a partner of the Make Fashion Circular Initiative convened by the Ellen McArthur Foundation back in May.

Commenting on Burberry’s decision to ban fur PETA Director of International Programs, Mimi Bekhechi said: “Cartwheels are happening at PETA HQ following the announcement that after more than a decade of campaigns against Burberry’s use of fur, the iconic British brand has joined Armani, Versace, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood,and Stella McCartney in banning fur from its collections.

The animal rights charity goes on to say that the decision reflects shoppers increasing awareness about fur.

“The few fashion houses refusing to modernise and listen to the overwhelming public opinion against fur are now sticking out like a sore thumb for all the wrong reasons. If they want to stay relevant in a changing industry, they have no choice but to stop using fur stolen from animals for their coats, collars, and cuffs.”

Burberry is just one of many luxury brands who burn unsold products.

Just last year, high street giant H&M was accused of burning 12 tonnes of unsold garments per year (in spite of its sustainability efforts) after research by Danish tv-programme ‘Operation X’ was published.

But now that Burberry has taken the lead in changing its policies, maybe other brands will follow suit?

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