British label, Burberry, has today announced radical measures to change the way they manufacture their products. The move to stop using real fur by the multi-million pound Burberry Group Plc comes after a summer of negative press surrounding their sustainability and ethics. They will also stop destroying any unsold produce.
In July of this year, the British design giant, Burberry, faced a great deal of criticism following the revelation that they destroy any unsold produce. Their iconic tartans and trench coats are believed to have been burned or buried in a bit to prevent the unsold items from being sold in discount bins. It is believed that £28.6 million worth of stock was destroyed in 2017/2018. £105 million worth has been reportedly destroyed in the last five years, according to their annual reports.
In a statement on their website today, Burberry confirmed that they would no longer be destroying their goods or using genuine fur. They said:
“This commitment builds on the goals that we set last year as part of our five-year responsibility agenda and is supported by our new strategy, which is helping tackle the causes of waste. We already reuse, repair, donate or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts.”
Furthermore, they confirmed that no real fur would be used in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for the brand this month.
Marco Gobbetti, the Chief Executive Officer of Burberry added:
“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.”
PETA UK were among some of those pleased about the news, writing that “cartwheels are happening at PETA HQ following the announcement that iconic British brand Burberry is joining Armani, Versace, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, and others in banning fur from all its collections – and that it’s ditching angora, too.”
Despite the positive reception of the news, some people are arguing that more needs to be done, among them is Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation. In a statement today, he said:
“We understand and support their initiative to minimise waste and how they are dealing with the stock burning issue in order to be more environmentally friendly. However their decision to phase out fur is disappointing and contradicts their statement of, ‘luxury being environmentally responsible’.”
He added that plastic fake fur is not sustainable and therefore, not conducive to their sustainability policy. Oaten pointed out that the plastic it contains damages oceans, environments and entire ecosystems.
“Any fashion business with a commitment to sustainability should be using natural products such as wool, cotton, leather, silk and natural fur. Fur is farmed to the very highest standards, it is sustainable and many designers and brands continue to work with it. We think Burberry should allow its customers freedom of choice in purchasing natural or plastics.”