BURBERRY LOOKS TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Burberry plans to ban real fur from future collections and stop the destruction of unsaleable products.

The proposal comes as part of the brand’s new approach to sustainability, after it was discovered they destroyed £28.6 million worth of unsaleable goods last year. This was due to goods being of poor quality and the risk of them entering the grey market, which would devalue the brand.

Burberry CEO, Marco Gobbetti said in a statement, “modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products.”

The changes will take effect immediately, with plans to have no real fur in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for LFW. Burberry have banned the use of rabbit, fox, mink, Asiatic raccoon fur and angora. They will continue to use shearling and leather in collections, but any remaining fur products are slowly being phased out of the line.

Tisci took to Instagram, announcing the decision as a “new era” for Burberry, using the hashtag #modernluxury. A statement said “at Burberry, we are passionate about driving positive change. Our responsibility goals cover the entire footprint of our operations and extend to the communities around us”.

The fur decision follows on from a number of other brands that have abandoned the use of fur in recent collections. The positive response from consumers only suggests that this was a wise move. Their commitment to ending these practices builds on goals set last year which form part of a five-year responsibility agenda, supported by a new strategy which is helping tackle the causes of waste. Burberry stated, “We already reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts.”

In May 2018 Burberry became a core partner of the Make Fashion Circular Initiative convened by the Ellen McArthur Foundation. The brand emphasised that in the past year they “have created a unique partnership with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to transform 120 tonnes of leather offcuts into new products over the next five years. We have also supported the Burberry Foundation in establishing the Burberry Material Futures Research Group with the Royal College of Art to invent new sustainable materials”.

They have maintained that they have a corporate social responsibility to “continue to invest in communities, from supporting young people in disadvantaged areas… to developing a more inclusive and sustainable cashmere industry in Afghanistan. These efforts have been recognised by Burberry’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year.”

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