Fashion brand Burberry burns its own goods to stay exclusive

A sign outside a Burberry store.
A sign outside a Burberry store. Photo credit: Getty

Fashion brand Burberry has burned more than $28 million worth of its stock in the last year to protect its brand, angering environmentalists.

That equals more than 20,000 designer trench coats.

The practice is understood to be rife throughout the industry, and means unwanted items cannot fall into the hands of counterfeiters, or find their way onto other shelves or websites where they can be sold cheaply.

A representative for Burberry told the BBC the practice was environmentally friendly.

"Burberry has careful processes in place to minimise the amount of excess stock we produce," they said.

"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."

However environmental campaign group Greenpeace was angered by the practice, which it labelled as disrespectful.

"Despite their high prices, Burberry shows no respect for their own products and the hard work and natural resources that are used to made them," spokesperson Lu Yen Roloff told the BBC.

"The growing amount of overstock points to overproduction, and instead of slowing down their production, they incinerate perfectly good clothes and products."

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