In FY 2020/21, we handled around 21,800 repair and replacement part enquiries for products ranging from well-loved leather goods to vintage items. We also donated more than 14,000 items of business clothing as part of our long-term partnerships with charities such as Smart Works. The UK-based charity supports unemployed women with interview training, smart clothing and styling advice as they prepare for potentially life-changing interviews.
Raw materials are a significant waste stream for the luxury fashion industry. For leather, even when product patterns are carefully planned to maximise the use of a hide, the process inevitably creates small offcuts. Through The Burberry Foundation, we are working with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to transform leather offcuts from the production of Burberry products into a range of accessories and homeware by 2022. Half of the profits from this range are donated to charitable organisations promoting renewable energy, while the remaining half is reinvested by Elvis & Kresse to expand their work and generate apprenticeship and work experience opportunities.
We launched ReBurberry Fabric, a pilot programme in partnership with The British Fashion Council, to donate leftover fabrics to fashion students. During year 2020/21, we donated 7,125 metres of fabric, benefiting 33 schools.
Similarly, we have a partnership and are donating excess fabric to Progetto Quid in Italy, a women-led not-for-profit cooperative, providing women and men from disadvantaged backgrounds with employment opportunities through sustainable fashion.
In May 2018 we became a core partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular Initiative, joining other leading organisations to explore how our industry can work towards the vision of a circular fashion economy. In December 2018, we joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which aims to eradicate plastic waste and pollution by 2025. The commitment is also led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment and aims to create a new normal for plastic packaging globally. As part of this, we are working to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging; ensure plastic in our packaging can be easily reused, recycled or composted; and circulate any plastic packaging so that it can be made into new packaging or products. We have also completed a Plastic Footprint Mapping exercise, identifying the use of plastic across our activities worldwide.