So, last week it came to light that the fashion giant Burberry had destroyed £28 million of its excess fashion and cosmetic products.
Interestingly, the news of Burberry’s destruction came to light not from undercover expo into the fashion retailer’s practices but from their annual reports.
When you look at the annual reports, you could argue Burberry themselves weren’t hiding this fact either!
Published in their 2017/18 figures under the title “finished goods destroyed in the year” Burberry openly disclosed the total worth of its burned products.
Hats off for transparency, butinitially, like many people reading the headlines the mind boggles at the scale of the products that must have been destroyed to equate to this vast multi-million-pound sum.
When you also consider the number of processes that would have gone into making a single Burberry product the idea that these items were simply burnt becomes even crazier.
From the effort needed to transform the raw fibres, the litres of water, human labour and shipping required to transport that amount of goods the real environmental impact is huge.
Burberry themselves have been somewhat unapologetic and explained this business decision as a way to maintain their pricing to avoid the discounted grey market.
But, to be fair to Burberry, they are not the only fashion retailer to burn or destroy excess or defected products that they can’t sell.
The likes of H&M, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Montblanchave all been exposed and shamed for burning and destroying millions of pounds worth of stock they felt they couldn’t sell.
Well, as a brand ourselves who aspires to great ethical practices, we could never endorse this kind of behaviour, but what we hope this story can be a catalyst for change.
We need to reconsider our choices as consumers and hold these type of brands more accountable for this brazen waste of clothing.
Looking at social media and the natural incense felt from readers of the Burberry burning their clothes can’t just stop at angry words.
We need to look at ways in which we can put pressure on these sort of brands that hold their capital above that or the environment and seek alternatives.