Burberry ends bonfire of the luxuries after waste outcry

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British luxury fashion group Burberry has stopped burning unsold products and will no longer use real fur and angora in its clothes, chief executive Marco Gobbetti revealed on September 6, 2018. (AFP)
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In this file photo taken on February 20, 2017 models present creations from the Burberry collection during a catwalk show on the fourth day of the Autumn/Winter 2017 London Fashion Week in London. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2018
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Burberry ends bonfire of the luxuries after waste outcry

  • “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible,” said CEO Marco Gobbetti
  • Many retailers have been called out in recent years for destroying unsold stock, including by slashing or punching holes in garments before throwing them out

LONDON: Britain’s Burberry will no longer burn unsold luxury goods to protect its brand after an admission that it destroyed almost $40 million worth of stock last year sparked a furor over waste in the fashion industry.
Burberry also said on Thursday it would no longer use real fur such as mink and racoon, in another step to improving its social and environmental credentials which was immediately welcomed by animal rights campaigners.
The waste revelation in July from Burberry came only months after the owner of Cartier and Montblanc admitted to destroying some of their unsold watches and coincides with growing public awareness of waste and its environmental impact.
“Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible,” said CEO Marco Gobbetti, who is in the process of taking Burberry, where coats sell for more than 2,500 pounds ($3,234) and handbags are priced at up to 1,500 pounds, more upmarket.
Many retailers have been called out in recent years for destroying unsold stock, including by slashing or punching holes in garments before throwing them out.
Richemont, owner of luxury watch brands, said it bought back unsold stock from dealers during a recent downturn and recycled the precious metals and stones that were in the high-end pieces.
Burberry physically destroyed 28.6 million pounds worth of finished goods in the financial year to April, up from 26.9 million pounds the previous year, including 10 million pounds worth of beauty products such as perfume.
The products are generally those that did not sell via discount outlets and are more than five years old. Burberry said it would try to reuse, repair, donate or recycle its products while a strategy to make fewer, more targeted collections should help reduce excess stock.
It is also working with the sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to transform 120 tons of leather offcuts into new products over the next five years.

GROWING AWARENESS
Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said Burberry’s announcement could put pressure on other luxury names to be more transparent about how they handle unsold goods.
“Concerns about sustainability are slowly but surely becoming more relevant for luxury goods consumers,” he said.
Some luxury groups also offer sales to employees and journalists to limit the amount of unsold stock. Both Kering , owner of Gucci and Alexander McQueen, and LVMH , owner of Louis Vuitton, Celine, Christian Dior and Givenchy, declined to comment.
In the mass market, major brands have also struggled to shift stock in a fast changing environment.
H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer after Inditex, has said in the past it burns stock, but only when it is damaged or, for example, has high levels of chemicals in it. At the end of May the Swedish group had $4 billon of unsold stock that it said it hoped to sell.
“Under no circumstances do we destroy clothes that are safe to use,” a spokeswoman said.
Burberry is following the likes of Versace, Gucci and the trailblazer for ethical fashion, Stella McCartney, in removing real fur from its ranges.
The moves are part of a series of changes at Burberry where Gobbetti is pinning his hopes on new designer Riccardo Tisci to transform the quintessentially British fashion house. Former Givenchy star Tisci has previously designed costumes for Beyonce and Madonna and releases his debut collection in September.
“We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products,” Gobbetti said.
PETA, the campaign group for the ethical treatment of animals, welcomed Burberry’s move to stop using fur, which it said was a sign of the times.
“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,” PETA’s director of international programs, Mimi Bekhechi said.
Campaign group Humane Society International said animal charities would unite during this year’s major fashion shows to call on Italian brand Prada to follow Burberry’s lead.
The head of the International Fur Federation, Mark Oaten, said substituting natural fur with “plastic petroleum-based materials, like fake fur” was neither luxury nor responsible. ($1 = 0.7736 pounds)


Blake Lively makes a surprise trip to Abu Dhabi

Updated 19 November 2018
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Blake Lively makes a surprise trip to Abu Dhabi

  • Blake Lively is the wife of Ryan Reynolds who is currently shooting a film in the UAE capital
  • The pair were spotted at various locations across the city by excited fans while Reynolds posted photos of Lively and the crew enjoying dinner in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: Hollywood actress and style icon Blake Lively jetted into Abu Dhabi over the weekend to pay her equally famous heartthrob husband, Ryan Reynolds, a visit as he shoots scenes for action movie “6 Underground.”

The pair were spotted at various locations across the city by excited fans while Reynolds posted photos of Lively and the crew enjoying dinner in Abu Dhabi on his Instagram stories.

Reynolds, Latin actress Adria Arjona and a host of other famous faces will be in the city for 30 days to shoot scenes for the Netflix/Skydance Media film.

Arjona took to Instagram to post a series of snaps from the UAE, including shots of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The star, who is best known for her role in the HBO television series “True Detective,” is joined in the film by actors Ben Hardy, Lior Raz, Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins and Manuel Rulfo.

There are more than 300 cast and crew in the country working under award-winning director Michael Bay, whose portfolio includes “Bad Boys,” “Armageddon,” the “Transformer” franchise and “The Rock.”

The cast will shoot at four locations, including the Liwa desert, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah.

 “Shooting in Abu Dhabi is going to be one of the highlights of this production, although you’ll have to wait until the movie hits Netflix to find out why,” Reynolds said in a public statement last week.

“We’ve only been here a few days so far, but the welcome from everyone has been amazing and I can’t wait to explore Abu Dhabi more.”

The movie’s production team includes more than 100 Abu Dhabi-based production specialists, who are working closely with media zone twofour54, which is providing production services.

This is just the latest in a string of blockbusters to use Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE as a location.

Others have included the comedy “War Machine,” starring Brad Pitt, in 2015.

In a statement, Michael Bay said: “Abu Dhabi is a unique place to make a movie, with a lot of great looks.  It’s got the diversity and architecture I need in front of the camera, plus the professional facilities, crew and infrastructure to back it up.  I’m very excited to be shooting here over the next few weeks.