Burberry Burns £28.6m Of Its Own Gear To Protect Against Fakes

A Burberry model

According to the same Times report, insiders suggest that luxury brands destroy unwanted products to protect their intellectual property and brand values.

Environmental campaigners have criticised British fashion label Burberry for destroying unsold clothes and accessories worth R450 million past year to protect its brand.

Would you light your beloved $1,990 Burberry trench coat on fire?

On Thursday, Burberry said it strove to act in a "responsible" manner when disposing of stock, saying there were "careful processes" in place to minimize the amount of waste.

The British fashion label claims it does so to protect its brand.

Burberry have defended their actions, claiming it's an industry-wide practice and they do so using specialist incinerators to harness the energy and minimise damage caused to the environment.

According to a report by The Times, the upmarket clothing line, famous for its checked design, has destroyed 90 million pounds of products in the past five years.

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Richemont, a maker of luxury jewelry and watches including the Cartier brand, was reported to have disposed of €481 million worth of goods in May to prevent them being discounted on the secondary market which reduces their appeal.

However, it's not just the high-end brands that are guilty of this wasteful practice, a year ago it emerged that a power plant in Sweden was burning unwanted H&M clothes.

And it seems it's not just Burberry which destroys unsold goods.

Fellow Make Fashion Circular signatory Nike was exposed by The New York Times previous year for destroying stock by deliberately slashing its trainers to prevent them falling into the counterfeit market.

"This is a core part of our Responsibility strategy to 2022 and we have forged partnerships and committed support to innovative organizations to help reach this goal".

In a statement Burberry said it seeks to reduce its waste and has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur foundation's Make Fashion Circular Initiative, "where we join other leading organisations to work towards a circular fashion economy".

The discussion around Burberry's practices is making people ask questions about class and the stigmatisation of poverty, particularly at a time when half a million people in the United Kingdom are relying on food banks and one in five are struggling to put food on the table.

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