Burberry Cleans Up Their Act: Stops Destroying Product & Bans Real Fur

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 11.54.29 AM.png

Burberry faced major backlash in July after destroying £28.6M ($45M CAD) worth of unsold product in the 2017/2018 fiscal year.

In the past 5 years, the brand has destroyed £105M ($178M CAD) worth of unsold goods. However, Burberry is cleaning up their act... we'll reveal how in this post.

WHY did Burberry destroy so much product in the first place?

Long story short, Burberry did this to maintain their luxury brand image and protect intellectual property from counterfeiters. If Burberry had disposed their excess stock through heavy discounting, it would have diminished the company's luxury brand perception. Unfortunately, Burberry is not the only brand to do destroy excess inventory - Nike, H&M and many others have been known to do the same practices.

This is one of the fashion industry's dirty secrets - brands destroy perfectly fine products to protect intellectual property from counterfeiters and limit the diminished brand perception that comes with diminishing inventory through discounted prices.

What is Burberry doing to fix things?

1. Under the new CEO of Burberry Marco Gobbetti, the company launched a responsibility agenda. Part of this agenda includes how the company is going to deal with waste and end-of-life products. 

2. The company is changing the way they operate and their operational efficiency. Specifically, the brand plans to have more frequent and targeted collections to be more precise in the way they design, sell and how consumers will purchase goods.

3. The bigger project (and probably the most obvious) is that the company needs to create a better view of their global inventory and determine how to manage it more effectively. 

And now Burberry is also banning real fur?

The company has also made a decision to ban real fur from their collections. For two runway seasons already, there has not been fur at the Burberry show. The company has announced their intentions and made a firm commitment on the matter. Regarding current inventory, the brand helps to sell the remaining fur

Wait— but what about Burberry's makeup line?

As you may know, Burberry also produces beauty products and when beauty products expire, brands need to destroy the products because it's hazardous. Unfortunately, there is currently no legal way to recycle expired beauty products. However, Gobbetti has said that Burberry plans on using their outlet stores to exit a lot of the end-of-season products. 

While it's heartbreaking to see how much inventory is destroyed to prevent intellectual property theft & maintain a luxury brand image, we applaud Burberry for their transparency and efforts to change things. 

However, Burberry is not the only brand that implemented these awful practices, we encourage other fashion brands to be transparent and change things as well.