It’s no longer an industry secret that certain apparel retailers (in the past) would prefer to burn or trash unsold and returned merchandise than resell through secondary channels. However, the times are changing and major brands are facing public and social scrutiny with how waste is handled. Take for example the recent coverage that revealed a certain high-end retailer had destroyed £28.6 million worth of goods last year.

To Burberry’s credit, it was already involved in sustainable practices including reusing, repairing, donating, recycling unsaleable products and is planning to expand these efforts including: 

  • Partnership with the Make Fashion Circular Initiative convened by the Ellen McArthur Foundation
  • Partnering with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to transform 120 tonnes of leather offcuts into new products over the next five years
  • Supporting the Burberry Material Futures Research Group with the Royal College of Art to invent new sustainable materials
  • Phasing out all existing fur products

It’s not just Burberry that is taking a more environmental and society friendly approach to excess and overstock inventory. Take for example H&M, the multinational fast-fashion clothing retail company that has a nonprofit arm called the H&M Foundation. The foundation is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and works both on a global scale and on local projects to directly address urgent needs. Most recently, the foundation opened a hydrothermal textile recycling plant that can separate, for example, cotton and polyester from clothing made with mixed fabrics. Once separated, the materials are sorted for reuse in new garments, including jeans.

As major apparel retailers such as Burberry and H&M work on expanding their environmental and social efforts, they will need a new, proven method to recover from the costs of returned and overstock inventory that is costing money and space in a warehouse. B-Stock has viable remarketing options geared specifically for specialty apparel retailers. We provide a liquidation platform that directly connects major retailers to small and medium business owners who resell liquidation items through, for example, corner markets, clearance stores and online. Learn more on the best way to sell excess inventory.

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