Burberry has been burning millions of pounds worth of stock in order to stop it getting into the wrong hands, reports say.
A line from its end-of-year reported released in May revealed the United Kingdom company physically destroyed £28.6m of goods in the previous year - including £10.4m worth of goods from its beauty inventory- and was up from £26.9m the year before. The company continues to look for ways to minimize its waste or create new products.
Last November, Burberry announced a revamp that included taking its brand further upmarket, closing stores that are not in "strategic" locations and cutting costs.
Burberry have defended their actions, claiming it's an industry-wide practice and they do so using specialist incinerators to harness the energy and minimise damage caused to the environment.
The news comes as insiders claim luxury brands destroy unsold products to prevent them from being sold at discount prices on the gray market to the "wrong people", the paper reported.
Explaining the rationale behind this tradition of destroying its unsold products, which include clothes, accessories and perfume, Burberry emphasised that it is mainly to protect its brand.
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During its annual meeting last week, one investor complained about the destruction and questioned why shareholders weren't given the opportunity to buy the items.
The logic behind this process is to ensure that the clothes are not sold at discounted prices. Lu Yen Roloff of Greenpeace said the company could have just slowed down its production to avoid overstocking, but instead it opted to overproduce and incinerate unsold products.
The worldwide environmental group Greenpeace says Burberry shows no respect for its own products or the natural resources that are used to make them.
This may sound shocking but Burberry aren't alone in this outrageous practice which is apparently common among high-end fashion retailers.
According to Malone, destroying unwanted products is part of that process.
John Peace, the outgoing chairman, said destroying stock is "not something we do lightly" and Chief Financial Officer Julie Brown said "we take it extremely seriously".
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