Riccardo Tisci’s first collection for Burberry will be fur-free. The British fashion house made the announcement after facing considerable backlash online and from environmental activists, CNN reports. Burberry also announced that effective immediately, it will no longer burn unsold clothes, after it was revealed that the company incinerated nearly $40 million worth of clothes last year that it deemed unfit for sale. According to Reuters, the items destroyed were typically ones that did not sell at discount outlets and were more than five years old.
“Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible,” Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s chief executive officer, said in an official statement. “This belief is core to us at Burberry and key to our long-term success. We are committed to applying the same creativity to all parts of Burberry as we do to our products.”
According to the statement, these steps are part of a “five-year responsibility agenda” that was put in place last year, before Tisci took the reins as the company’s new chief creative officer. His first collection is set to debut at London Fashion Week on September 17.
CNN points out that in the past, Burberry has used fox, rabbit, mink, and Asiatic raccoon in its collections. Under its new policy, the use of fur from those animals, along with Angora, will be banned. The decision has already earned praise from animal rights groups like Human Society International. “As fashion week kicks off today in New York, Burberry's compassionate stance couldn't have come at a better time," the organization's director of international media, Wendy Higgins, told CNN via email.
Burberry is just the latest fashion house embrace going fur-free. In March, Donatella Versace told The Economist's 1843 magazine that Versace would no longer be using fur in its collections. “I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right,” she said at the time. A month later, Maison Margiela’s John Galliano told French Elle that he’s also committed to going fur-free, joining other iconic brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Stella McCartney.