Riccardo Tisci is changing more at Burberry than just its logo. On Thursday, the British heritage brand announced that it will no longer burn $36 million worth of excess clothes and cosmetics, a move it came under fire for this past July (over the past five years, Burberry has destroyed over $100 million worth of merchandise).
"This commitment builds on the goals that we set last year as part of our five-year responsibility agenda and is supported by our new strategy, which is helping tackle the causes of waste," a statement from the company read. "We already reuse, repair, donate, or recycle unsaleable products and we will continue to expand these efforts." It does clarify that "in exceptional circumstances, [they] may dispose of damaged, defective, or expired beauty products where recycling is not an option."
Burberry also announced that Tisci's first collection, set to debut during London Fashion Week, will not feature any fur. The company also noted that it will "phase out any existing real fur products" — which currently include rabbit, fox, mink, and Asiatic raccoon — in an attempt to expedite its commitment to being fully fur-free. Burberry now joins a list of other luxury houses, including Versace, Gucci, and Michael Kors, who have all made similar pledges.
Mimi Bekhechi, PETA's director of international programs, applauded Burberry's move, saying: "The few fashion houses refusing to modernize and listen to the overwhelming public opinion against fur are now sticking out like a sore thumb for all the wrong reasons. If they want to stay relevant in a changing industry, they have no choice but to stop using fur stolen from animals for their coats, collars, and cuffs."
In 2017, Burberry launched its Responsibility Agenda; by 2022, the company hopes to 1) "Drive positive change through 100% of Burberry’s products;" 2) "Become carbon neutral, revalue waste;" and 3) "Positively impact one million people." A statement notes that Burberry has already made significant progress towards achieving these goals, including sourcing 21% of its cotton through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and working with its production partners to reduce their energy and water consumption.