So sick is the fashion industry: brand manufacturers destroyed new goods worth 32 million euros
July 18, 2018 by Nadja Ayoub Categories: Fashion
The premium brand Burberry shreds every year products worth several million euros – but not because the goods have any flaws or defects. Rather, it is a targeted strategy to keep prices high.
At Burberry, this year a lot of clothes and cosmetics have ended up in garbage – in fact, in 2018, so far, there were products worth around 32.5 million euros, the company writes in its latest annual report.
This is significantly more than in previous years: in 2017 it was about 30 million euros and in 2016 about 21 million euros – also proud sums. But why does Burberry accept such millions of losses? Spiegel Online suspects behind a business strategy.
The image must be preserved
If there is any left over, it seems that the best way to destroy them is to destroy them. The alternative would be to discount them by offering discounts and boost sales. But the discounts would damage the image of the luxury brand – clothing and cosmetics from Burberry must not be cheap. The appearance of exclusivity must be preserved, Spiegel Online argues.
That’s what Burberry says
Some Burberry shareholders are critical of the many shredded goods, reports the news portal Bloomberg. One of them asked at the annual meeting why shareholders should not buy the products instead of being destroyed.
Destroying the goods is “not something we do lightly,” according to Bloomberg at Burberry. “We take that very seriously.” Plus, you would not throw away all the surplus products: leftover leather, for example, Burberry donated to a fashion company that recycles discarded clothing and reprocessed.
Not only Burberry shreds clothing and cosmetics on a large scale – also with other luxury brands, tons of products end up in the bin. And not only for luxury brands: Only a few weeks ago it was revealed that Amazon destroyed new goods, these are mainly returns. Last year, H&M and other fashion chains headlines that they were apparently burning tons of new clothes.
The surpluses of the fashion industry
That Burberry, H&M and other brands regularly destroy flawless clothing or cosmetics shows what’s going wrong in the fashion industry: it produces such large surpluses that masses of products are never used but end up in the trash.
Keeping prices and image high is more important than sustainable use of resources. And apparently, in most cases, it is still cheaper to dispose of the goods and then simply re-produce them, than to process them differently.
But there are also alternatives to the conventional manufacturers – the number of fair-producing labels is growing. They try to be sustainable with the environment, the resources and the employees. Here you will find recommended suppliers: Fair Fashion: the most important brands, the best shops
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