In recent years, the British fashion company, Burberry, has destroyed an outrageous amount of their own unsold stock in an effort to avoid counterfeiters and resellers to “devalue the brand”.
Reports have emerged that only last year the clothing powerhouse had disposed of £28.6m worth in unsold products.
Amid backlash from environmental activists, the company has stated they recycled the energy generated from the stylish bonfire.
“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,” said a Burberry spokesperson.
Lu Yen Roloff of Greenpeace has a different perspective on the particular corporative practice, “Despite their high prices, Burberry shows no respect for their own products and the hard work and natural resources that are used to make them.”
He adds, “The growing amount of overstock points to overproduction, and instead of slowing down their production, they incinerate perfectly good clothes and products.”
The multi-million disposal the brand has enforced is part of a push to make their products as exclusive and unique as they can, preventing counterfeiters to profit from copying their designs and avoiding resellers to buy surplus stock to put it in the aftermarket at cheaper prices.
“The reason they are doing this is so that the market is not flooded with discounts.
They don’t want Burberry products to get into the hands of anyone who can sell them at a discount and devalue the brand,” said to BBC Maria Malone, principal lecturer on the fashion business at Manchester Metropolitan University.
As part of their push, the company is also closing stores that are not placed in “strategic” locations and announced the creation of a centre of excellence for luxury leather goods.
Despite the backlash from environmentalists and some industry analysts, the initiative seems to be working for the company.
Burberry reported a 5 per cent profit increase in their most recent fiscal year to the 31st of March, rising to £413m, with sales at £2.7bn.