Published on july 25, 2018

An Open Letter from Us to Burberry

written by Team thredUP

On Wednesday, July 25th, we posted an open letter to Burberry on our social channels. This letter was a response to the recent news, initially reported in Burberry’s official annual report, that the brand incinerated $37.8M worth of inventory. As soon as we posted the letter on Instagram, we were floored by the thousands of likes and comments that immediately began pouring in. As of Friday morning, July 27th, when we updated this blog post, there are more than 22K likes and 3K comments. Our letter also caught the attention of the press, with Fortune, InStyle, Fashionista and others covering the letter and the message.

It is now abundantly clear to us at thredUP that we are not the only ones who think that something in the fashion and luxury industry needs to change. If you would like to show your support, click the post below and tag Burberry in the comments section. We continue to be overwhelmed by the support and grateful for our community.

Dear Burberry,

We heard that you burned $37.8M of unsold product last year to keep it out of the hands of the “wrong” people.

That’s a lot of waste.

Let’s clear the air a little. We know this is a common practice among brands; LVMH, Cartier, and H&M have all been in the news for destroying their product.

The thing is, the world can’t afford to waste perfectly good clothes anymore.

We are in the midst of an environmental crisis exacerbated by the fashion industry. According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, fashion is now responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, and is projected to drain a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.

We respect the desire to protect your brand image, but discounting your product shouldn’t be scarier than setting it on fire.

These practices aren’t sustainable for the earth or the luxury sector. The fact is, consumers are waking up to this kind of waste. They want to see brands that take action and care about the planet. Tomorrow’s successful luxury retailers will meet the ethical demands of the rising, inevitable wave of conscious consumerism.

You said you want to be part of the solution and ‘work towards a more circular economy.’

We can help you get there.

Today we invite you to send any unsold Burberry product to thredUP for resale back into the circular economy, and we’ll donate 100% of net proceeds to the environmental charity of your choice. If extending the life of a single garment can reduce its carbon, water, and waste footprint by 73%*, imagine the impact of $37.8M of unsold product.

Here’s to progress over perfection, one small step towards cultivating a more sustainable future, and redefining luxury’s relationship with our planet.



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“A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion’s future.” Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2017

“No One In Fashion Is Surprised Burberry Burnt £28 Million Of Stock.” Forbes, 2018

“Luxury Brands Prefer to Burn Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Clothes to Letting ‘Wrong’ Shoppers Buy Them at Discount.” Newsweek, 2018

*2018 thredUP Resale Report