Inside the fight to end the silence on waste
The company admitted destroying the unsold clothes, accessories and perfume instead of selling it off cheaply, in order to protect the brand’s exclusivity and value. It added that it had captured the energy from the burning to try and make the process more environmentally friendly.
Many now opt to publish end-of-year reports that detail progress on workers’ rights and environmental sustainability. The information about Burberry’s stock burning was released in one such report – and Orsola points out that the designer is in fact one of the most transparent.Designer brands typically work on much lower stock levels than high-street retailers, so their waste stock should be lower.
Certain brands are capitalising on the environmental wave to set ambitious targets for themselves: Adidas for example have committed to only using recycling plastic in their shoes by 2024 and H&M says it hopes to only use sustainable materials in its production by 2030.