Burberry’s history of supporting others is rooted in the altruism of our founder, Thomas Burberry. Throughout his life, he used his success as a way to contribute to society. We continue his legacy today, championing our communities, in particular young people, and working with organisations making a positive impact around the world.
Our five-year Communities agenda focused on supporting and empowering local communities across our value chain, with a goal to positively impact 1 million people by 2022.
Working with NGO partners and community-based organisations, and funded via The Burberry Foundation, we are proud to have met our target to positively impact the lives of over 1 million people over the past five years.
Our programmes focused on three strategic impact areas:
Oxfam Italy | Elvis & Kresse | Progetto Quid via The Burberry Foundation
219,456 positively impacted between 2017-2022
Teach First | The Careers & Enterprise Company | Connectr | Burberry Inspire Programme | London Youth via The Burberry Foundation
658,121 positively impacted between 2017-2022
Oxfam & Pur Projet via The Burberry Foundation
124,357 positively impacted between 2017-2022
* Denotes the impact evaluation results of a sample of direct beneficiaries surveyed across each of the programmes
DRAWING ON OUR HERITAGE OF EXPLORATION AND THROUGH OUR CREATIVE SPIRIT, WE COMMIT TO CONTINUALLY EVOLVE, INNOVATE AND DEFY CONVENTION TO BUILD A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.
We are committed to having a positive impact on our people and communities. We are collating information about the work we do across our business, from protecting and nurturing luxury craftmanship skills, to driving progress towards our diversity, equity and inclusion ambitions, in order to establish and evaluate the full picture of our impact on people within and beyond our company.
Learn about our People here.
DEVELOPING LITERACY: AN INITIATIVE ANCHORED IN COMMUNITY, TO HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE
Caring for our people and our communities is intrinsic to who we are as a company. We open spaces for aspirations to become reality and support those who face disadvantages so that their potential can be fulfilled.
In 2021, we announced our support for organisations in the UK, USA, Japan and Hong Kong S.A.R., China, committed to helping disadvantaged children develop their literacy skills. By providing funding to transform school libraries and donating books, we aimed to ensure children had access to safe environments and resources.
In the UK, we partnered with English international footballer and youth advocate Marcus Rashford MBE and the National Literacy Trust (NLT) to support literacy among young people. With the NLT, we focused on helping libraries in primary schools provide young people with the literacy skills they need to fulfil their ambitions. The funding went towards transforming library spaces in 10 schools across Manchester, Yorkshire and London, positively impacting the lives of over 3,500 children.
All 10 schools participated in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, a programme created by Marcus and Macmillan Children’s Books to encourage and nurture a love of reading among children. The schools also received a donation of 8,000 books, enabling children to benefit from further teaching materials, a variety of literature and activities. Curated by the NLT and provided by Macmillan Children’s Books and other publishers, the selection of illustrated, award-winning fiction and non-fiction books represented a range of experiences, backgrounds and interests. Dedicated training and access to NLT resources were also provided to 200 teachers across the country during FY 2021/22.
In the USA, we continued to build upon our existing partnership with Wide Rainbow to provide access to arts education in underserved neighbourhoods. Our funding will help to create 15 libraries across New York City and its outer boroughs, as well as three larger libraries in Los Angeles, Detroit and NYC, with each unique space receiving over 100 children’s books.
The Wide Rainbow Library Project, in collaboration with Detroit-based curator and art educator Asma Walton of the Black Art Library, and design duo Melissa and Amanda Shin of Shin Shin Architecture, creates libraries for youth and families living in under-resourced communities.
AROUND THE WORLD
Our funding for the Bring Me a Book Hong Kong initiative provided over 500 books to youth centres in the region and bespoke storytelling workshops for the organisation’s volunteers. Meanwhile, our ongoing support for the Japan School Library Association helps increase book donations to school libraries across the country.
These programmes continue Burberry’s long history of supporting communities and championing access to experiences that enable imagination and creativity to flourish. By investing in creative spaces that expand children’s worlds through reading, we aim to nurture their curiosity and make them aware of their own potential so they take their first steps to becoming the innovators, creators and leaders of the future.
We believe diversity of thought, experience and voice opens spaces for new ideas to thrive, fuelling creativity and enabling us to fulfil our purpose. Over the last five years, a key focus of The Burberry Foundation has been to open career pathways within the creative industries and unlock opportunities for young people who may not otherwise have had access to or felt equipped to pursue a career in this arena.
The Burberry Foundation continued its partnership with leading education charities Teach First, The Careers & Enterprise Company and Connectr, with the goal of opening up opportunities to young people from disadvantaged communities in Yorkshire, where our iconic Burberry Trench Coat is manufactured, and London, where we have our head office.
Burberry Inspire, which first launched in Yorkshire in 2018 and expanded to New York City in 2020, measures the impact of enhancing young people’s access to cultural capital by connecting eminent arts organisations with schools.
Schools participating in the programme are allocated an Artist in Residence from a cultural organisation every year, providing students with wide-ranging, hands-on experience of different areas of the creative arts, such as theatre, dance, art and film. Artists in Residence work with teachers and students to deliver experiences, workshops and co-created events within their local communities.
Both programmes are independently evaluated by our research partners, the Office of Research, Evaluation and Program Support (REPS) of the City University of New York and The Policy Institute at King’s College London, to study the impact of the immersive arts and creative education programme on students’ development for the purpose of supporting longer-term adaptation within schools.
The programme successfully provided many students who otherwise would not have had opportunities to engage with the arts to do so while also gaining employability skills. The programme contributed to increasing students’ awareness of professional opportunities in the arts and, for some, this impacted their career, self-confidence and educational aspirations.
Outcomes shared during the last year of the partnership highlighted that:
Burberry donates a percentage of adjusted Group profit before tax to charitable initiatives each year. Independent of Burberry Group plc, the majority of our philanthropic work is carried out through The Burberry Foundation (UK registered charity number 1154468).
The Burberry Foundation was set up in 2008 by Burberry Group plc as an independent charity dedicated to using the power of creativity to drive positive change in our communities and build a more sustainable future.
Following the completion of its recent long term partnerships, and building on its learnings and outcomes, in FY 2021/22, the Foundation underwent a strategic review of its future direction. Focusing all its resources on addressing the issue of left-behind youth, The Foundation’s new mission is grounded on the belief that young people, regardless of their backgrounds, can create ideas, solutions, and connections for a better future.
Concentrating all of its resources on addressing the issue of empowerment for left-behind youtha and expanding the Foundation’s activities to key operational geographies of Burberry Group Plc.