• Burberry burned R505 million worth of products to protect its brand last year.
  • More than R1.55 billion worth of products were destroyed in the last five years.
  • The company would rather destroy its products than sell it on discount or run the risk of the products being stolen.

British luxury fashion brand Burberry has reportedly burned more than $37.8 million (R505 million) of its unsold merchandise in the past year.

According to newspaper reports, more than R1.55 billion worth of products were destroyed in the past five years.

Many luxury clothing brands would rather destroy unsold items than have them stolen or sold cheaply. The brands also want to stop counterfeiters from getting the merchandise to copy their styles.

Photo by Alberto Pezzali/Getty Images

It is understood that destroying unused products could help brands which import into the US benefit from a return on certain taxes, reports the Retail Gazette.

They cite the US Customs and Border Protection Agency, which states ‘if imported merchandise is unused and exported or destroyed under customs supervision, 99 per cent of the duties, taxes or fees paid on the merchandise by reason of importation may be recovered as drawback’.

Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty

Burberry said that the energy generated from burning its products was captured, making it environmentally friendly.

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