Fashion is a volatile industry. Things are constantly changing. But apparently, the fashion industry is also a wasteful one as well, according to Burberry’s most recent actions.
The iconic British brand best known for its trench coats reportedly destroyed over $38 million of unwanted products in 2018 alone, including clothing, accessories, fragrance and beauty products. Even at its notorious high prices, that adds up to about 20,000 coats, according to The Times of London.
Over $116 million worth of product has been reportedly destroyed over five years. Burberry is not the only luxurious label to ditch its unsold stock, following suit with the likes of Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Experts say this is a fairly common practice in the fashion industry, as brands try to retain their exclusivity.
Burberry was quick to jump to defense, claiming they donated what they could for recycling and targeted only trademarked products.
A statement from the company read: “Burberry has careful processes in place to minimize the amount of excess stock we produce. On the occasions when disposal of products is necessary, we do so in a responsible manner, and we continue to seek ways to reduce and revalue our waste.”
But there’s more to the story. Sources told the Times that the destruction of leftover stock is a means to protect brand integrity. By burning its non-purchased stock, Burberry is trying to prevent its wares from being sold to “the wrong people.”
Burberry shareholders are fighting back, saying they and others deserve to be given the opportunity to purchase products at slashed prices.
Some commenters have even suggested that they may donate their own Burberry merchandise to charity shops and shelters to sabotage the brand’s alleged concerns about maintaining its prestigious status.