Our products are made to last. The quality and durability of our pieces ensure they can be enjoyed over their lifetime. While we seek to minimise waste at all stages of our value chain, we also recognise the fashion industry’s shared challenge with respect to the carbon impacts of excess fabric and textile waste.
We follow clearly defined waste hierarchy principles for waste arising in the business, covering reuse, resell, repurpose, donation and recycling. Supply chain efficiency and management of materials is a key area of focus. By putting in place systems to optimise the procurement and utilisation of our materials and finished goods, we can reduce their associated climate impacts.
Circular design thinking
Consideration for sustainability permeates our entire design process, which ensures our products are consciously crafted. We engage our creative community through training on circular design and have hosted a range of product disassembly workshops to help teams better understand how the lives of our products can be extended.
Over the lifetime of our five-year Responsibility strategy, we engaged with our supply chain partners on textile waste recycling, awarding facilities that recycle a minimum of 50% of recyclable textile waste with a positive attribute. We also ensured they had a time-bound roadmap to work towards increasing recycling.
We focused on increasing the recycled content within our products, too. We awarded a positive attribute where the main material of a product is made from 70% or more recycled content for synthetic fibres and 20% or more recycled content for natural fibres. This is substantiated by recognised certifications, including the Global Recycled Standard and Recycled Claim Standard. We invested in finding recycling solutions for challenging materials, such as leather. We have funded a two-year research project, which began in 2020, with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles & Apparel (HKRITA) to develop a system for leather goods recycling. On top of this we have recently extended our funding to HKRITA to research the automatic removal of garment accessories and trims from finished products to aid the recycling process.
In December 2021, we launched a UK-based pilot for product resale and rental with My Wardrobe HQ (MWHQ), the UK’s leading fashion rental platform. For each Burberry transaction on the site, 40% of profits are donated to Smart Works, a long-time Burberry charity partner, which provides high-quality interview clothes and coaching to disadvantaged unemployed women. Our partnership with MWHQ is complementary to our broader strategy to become Climate Positive by 2040, supporting the principles of a circular economy. This includes expanding reuse, repair, donation and recycling routes and developing new partnerships and revaluation solutions.
We continue to donate raw materials and finished goods to various charities, design schools and colleges globally. During FY 2020/21, we launched the ReBurberry Fabric in partnership with The British Fashion Council. The initiative, through which we donate leftover fabrics to fashion students, was expanded during FY 2021/22. Since the launch of the partnership, we have given 12,491 metres of fabric, benefiting 33 fashion schools across the UK and over 200 students.
Due to the quality craftsmanship and materials involved in the making of Burberry pieces, they have long-lasting appeal and value. Burberry offers a global luxury aftercare service to extend the life of its products for as long as possible. In FY 2021/22, we handled approximately 28644 repair and replacement part enquiries, ranging from Trench Coat re-proofing to repairing vintage items.
Building on our existing repair offering, we rolled out a Leather Refresh service globally, offering complimentary leather conditioning to extend the lives of bags. We also introduced a Trench Refresh service, which invites clients to a Trench diagnostic session with an in-house expert. With the aim of extending a Trench Coat’s life for as long as possible, our customers can opt to have their coats reproofed, repaired and/or have elements replaced. We use organic, biodegradable solutions for this service, which reduces its impact on the environment. For our UK-based clients, the service is undertaken at our Castleford factory in Yorkshire, where our iconic Trench Coats are made.
In addition, our digital design team has been working hard to bring to life our new aftercare page on Burberry.com. This new page will help our clients understand the different aftercare services we offer for Trench Coats, leather goods, apparel and scarves. It also provides clients with advice about maintaining their Burberry products and enables clients to check store availability for services, and book dedicated in-store aftercare appointments. Furthermore, clients can quickly and easily connect to our dedicated Customer Service team 24/7 via live messaging on the Aftercare page.