Our five-year Responsibility agenda includes a goal to help tackle the waste challenge facing our industry. In September 2018, we strengthened our commitment by becoming the first luxury company to announce that we were stopping, with immediate effect, the practice of destroying unsaleable finished products. Across key UK and Italy operations, comprising Burberry’s internal manufacturing and distribution sites in Northern England and Italy, Burberry’s head office in London, Burberry’s office in Leeds and retail stores in London and Manchester, we sent zero waste to landfill in FY 2019/20.
During the year, we expanded existing reuse, repair, donation and recycling routes, while developing new partnerships and revaluation solutions. We also focused on limiting the causes of waste, enabled by an increasingly global view of inventory management and our new model of tighter more frequent collections, which allows us to be much more targeted and precise in the way we design, buy and sell.
Our beautifully made products are designed to last and we are committed to helping customers enjoy them for as long as possible. In FY 2019/20, we handled around 14,750 repair and replacement part enquiries, ranging from trench coat re-proofing to repairing vintage items. This financial year, we also launched a pilot in the US with The RealReal, a luxury consignment marketplace where customers can consign secondhand luxury goods, to encourage our customers to extend the life of their products through resale. This offers us an opportunity to champion a more circular future.
We employ innovative solutions to repurpose products and offcut waste. In the UK, we continue to work with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse, which revalues our leather offcuts by transforming them into accessories and homewares. In Italy, we continue to donate material to Progetto Quid, a not-for-profit co-operative, which upcycles excess materials into clothes and accessories, employing mostly women from vulnerable backgrounds. This financial year, we also launched a new partnership in Italy with Alta Scuola di Pelletteria Italiana, a leather school, and San Patrignano, an organisation supporting marginalised youth. The school will train San Patrignano residents in leather goods disassembly and repurposing using donated unsaleable Burberry leather products. In addition, we have donated products and raw materials to various charities, design schools and colleges globally, including the Royal College of Art and the Manchester Fashion Institute. In 2018, Burberry became the first luxury company to cease destroying unsaleable finished products.
By end of FY 2019/20 , we had finished product revaluing pilots with 10 new partners. We are mindful of ensuring that our supply chain partners also take responsibility for the waste generated during production, which is why we established a positive product attribute count to monitor and recognise waste recycling initiatives in our supply chain. We are also working to repurpose and reinvent products by adding seasonal and on-trend embellishments such as embroideries and appliquéd patches.
^ Assured by PWC, see the Creating Tomorrow’s Heritage page for more information on Burberry’s basis of reporting.