British fashion and beauty label Burberry has admitted to destroying unsold goods worth £28.6m in 2017, in a move to protect its brand from counterfeiters. Included in this figure were £10.4m worth of beauty items.
While it is common practice for fashion firms like Burberry to burn unwanted branded clothing and accessories to prevent them being stolen or sold cheaply, the burning of cosmetics was claimed to be a one-off related to a licence covering skin care, make-up and fragrance products inked with Coty in 2017.
With Coty working on new stock, Burberry had to dispose of old products – primarily perfume.
Burberry, which recently joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative to help prevent waste in the industry, said the energy generated from burning its products was captured – making the process as environmentally responsible as possible.
Nevertheless, the move has angered environmental campaigners and Twitter commentators, many of whom have dubbed it “obscene”.