Burberry Moves Towards Sustainability

It has recently been announced that with immediate effect, Burberry will stop burning unsold products and using real fur, after phasing out existing fur items. The decision came after the revelation that the British luxury goods maker destroyed clothes, accessories and perfume valued in the region of £28.6m for its ‘own safety’. Although, the figures may have been a slight anomaly, according to Burberry, who said they had to destroy £10m worth of old perfume products after signing a new deal with US firm Coty. Burning unsold goods is a hidden secret of many fashion brands; the fear that produce will be stolen and sold cheaply makes items more of a burden to the brand than an asset.

Furthermore, Burberry currently use rabbit, fox, mink and Asiatic racoon fur for their products however have vowed to stop using them after the wave of current items have been phased out. PETA have welcomed the decision and told the BBC, “The few fashion houses refusing to modernise and listen to the overwhelming public opinion against fur are now sticking out like a sore thumb…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."

Although Burberry already reuse, repair, donate and recycle unused products, they have said they will continue to increase their efforts, starting with their recent partnership with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse who will begin to transform 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts into new products over the next five years. The brand has also established the Burberry Material Futures Research Group with the Royal College of Art to invent new sustainable materials. Marco Gobbetti, the company’s chief executive commented, "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."

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