High fashion brand, Burberry, has made headlines this week after it was revealed that £28.6 million worth of unsold clothing, accessories and perfume was purposely burnt by the brand last year.
Many people were, understandably, aghast when the news emerged about this unusual practice, however this isn't necessarily something new. In fact, Burberry has been burning its goods for years. It is estimated that over the past 5 years, Burberry has destroyed over £90 million worth of goods. But why would a fashion brand purposely destroy so much of its own stock?
There are a number of reasons as to why Burberry burn its unsold stock; be it an effort to prevent its goods being sold by discounted retailers at cheaper prices or other recycling methods risking the goods being stolen, the luxury brand deems that the only way to protect the exclusivity of its brand is to completely destroy all unsold goods.
Surprisingly, this is not just a practice that is undertaken by Burberry; many luxury brands burn their unsold goods in a bid to protect the value of the brand.
The amount of perfume burnt by Burberry last year was particularly high as a result of a new perfume deal Burberry entered in to with Coty, the global beauty company known for developing and manufacturing fragrances. After the new deal was entered, £10 million of Burberry perfume had to be destroyed.
The practice, although accepted by many of those in the fashion industry, has raised eyebrows with those that are not. Not only does the destruction of so many goods through burning have a negative environmental impact, it also shows a lack of respect for the natural resources used to make the goods.
Burberry has addressed some of the concerns raised by consumers by explaining that the energy generated from the burning of the goods is captured making the process environmentally friendly.
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