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British luxury fashion brand Burberry store seen in Bangkok...

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The famous proverb waste not want seems to not hold any weight at the Burberry corporate offices. The luxury brand destroys thousands of pieces a year without blinking.

According to a report by The New York Times, Burberry burned almost 38 million worth of unsold products last year. Even worse it is estimated that they have dumped close to $120 million in the last five years.

But, there’s a method to Burberry’s madness. This practice is quite common in the upscale fashion community so the perceived worth of the label isn’t impacted. Maria Malone, fashion business lecturer explained it further to BBC, saying, “They don’t want Burberry products to get into the hands of anyone who can sell them at a discount and devalue the brand.”

Brands do it in order to preserve brand equity but the wastefulness doesn’t sit well with some parties.

Naturally, the news is causing quite the uproar with shareholders and environmentalists alike prompting Burberry to address the wastefulness. John Peace, the Chairman, said burning the stock is “not something we do lightly” and CFO Julie Brown stated “we take it extremely seriously.”

In the past Nike, H&M and watch brand Cartier have also been found guilty of trashing their unwanted inventory to preserve brand integrity.

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