Burberry Used to Burn Its Unsold Products. Now, It’s Giving Up the Practice (and Real Fur, Too)

September 6, 2018, 10:21 AM UTC

British luxury fashion house Burberry is going to stop using real fur in its collections and will no longer burn unsold stock, the company says.

PETA and other animal rights organizations had long hounded Burberry (BURBY), like many luxury fashion brands, for its use of fur. The fur ban starts with the first collection of Riccardo Tisci, who led Givenchy for 12 years and came to Burberry this spring. Burberry notes its use of fur had been limited for many years to rabbit, fox, mink and Asiatic raccoon, but going forward, these and Angora will be banned. Tisci’s first show for the 162-year-old fashion house will be at London Fashion Week on Sept. 17.

Burberry came under fire in July when an earnings statement disclosed that the fashion house had incinerated more than £28.6 million ($37.6 million) in unsold merchandise in the past year. The tactic, apparently common in the fashion industry, attempts to avoid flooding the market with marked-down products and to reclaim import taxes. But environmentalists don’t find it a suitable solution. Burberry, however, said it only destroyed items with its trademark and worked with companies to collect the energy.

Second-hand clothes market thredUp wrote a critical open letter to Burberry about the tactic in July. “We are in the midst of an environmental crisis exacerbated by the fashion industry,” the letter read. “Fashion is now responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, and is projected to drain a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. We respect the desire to protect your brand image, but discounting your product shouldn’t be scarier than setting it on fire.”

Tisci has already implemented a few other changes in his time at the fashion house, including updating its logo and reintroducing Burberry’s heritage monogram: