Fashion firms including Burberry destroy unwanted items to prevent them from being stolen or sold cheaply. Last year, the brand burned 37.8 million dollars of unwanted products, sparking environmental concerns from its shareholders and a debate over the wastage by luxury brands. The Times reported, designer brands often destroy unwanted stock so they are not sold to 'wrong people'.
However, Burberry said that the energy generated from burning its products was captured, making it environmentally friendly. A spokesperson for the company said, "Burberry has careful processes in place to minimise 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."
Burberry said that the destruction was an industry wide practice. The brand does not have complete control over its brand in different markets and so foreign factories can tamper with design copyright. To retain brand equity, luxury companies decide to destroy or buy back their collections to ensure it doesn't re-enter the marketplace.
In its annual report, the luxury clothes maker said it destroyed 13.76 million dollars in beauty products and 24 million dollars in ready-to-wear products and accessories. This was three times more than in 2014. More than 116 million dollars worth of Burberry products have been destroyed over past years, The Times reported. Burberry is valued at around 12.5 billion dollars with campaigns fronted by celebrities including Kate Moss, Romeo Beckham and Cara Delevingne.