The Burberry trench coat is a fashion icon: its easily recognizable double-breasted, camel-colored exterior is a British classic and has been since its birth in the late nineteenth century. However, the brand hasn't always treated its timeless signature jacket, or many of its other fashion and beauty pieces, like icons: In an annual report released in June, the British company said "the cost of finished goods physically destroyed in the year was £28.6m (about $37.8 million), including £10.4m of destruction for beauty inventory."
Unsurprisingly, the news of Burberry's expensive barbeques has sparked an uproar on social media, with users condemning the brand for its wastefulness and poor ethics. "Hey, @Burberry, there is no need to burn $28 mil worth of stock," one angered Twitter user wrote. "Donate it to school foundations that can auction or sell it to help educate your future designers!"
After days of infuriated tweets and Instagram posts using the caption #burnberry, online resale giant Thredup decided to take action. The company shared an open letter on Wednesday evening via Instagram calling out the British brand and its incineration of high-end goods: "The world can't afford to waste perfectly good clothes anymore," the letter reads. "We are in the midst of an environmental crisis exacerbated by the fashion industry. Fashion is now responsible for 10 percent of global emissions, and is projected to drain a quarter of the world's carbon budget by 2050."
"Today we invite you to send any unsold Burberry product to thredUp for resale back into the circular economy, and we'll donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the environmental charity of your choice," wrote the secondhand shop in an attempt to put out the fire. "If extending the life of a single garment can reduce its carbon, water and waste footprint by 73 percent, imagine the impact of $37.8 million of unsold product."
You can read the full letter below.