TheRealReal x Burberry Relationship Promotes Deeply Personal Mutual Brand Loyalty

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Writing for Forbes, Pamela N. Danziger digs beyond the obvious into the details of the newly-announced partnership between Burberry and TheRealReal. Officially the union promotes increasingly critical synergies in corporate responsibility and sustainable living in the fashion industry.

“Leading the way in creating a more circular economy for fashion is a key element of our Responsibility agenda,” Pam Batty, Burberry’s VP of corporate responsibility, said in a statement. “Through this new partnership we hope to not only champion a more circular future but encourage consumers to consider all the options available to them when they are looking to refresh their wardrobes.”

Burberry claims to have been at the “forefront of sustainability in fashion” for more than 15 years, an assertion that assertion may be up for debate among environmentalists. Surely Burberry doesn’t claim to share the Stella McCartney eco-conscious spotlight.

McCartney has been on the RealReal since 2018, experiencing a 65% increase in the number of consignors of her branded merchandise and a total increase of 74% of Stella McCartney items sold on the RealReal after announcing the partnership.

The real importance of the Burberry - RealReal relationship is lifetime customer acquisition, argues Danziger. More customers who experience both brands first at resale, then at full-price in a Burberry store, then returning to the trusted halo of The RealReal to resell and recycle. Sustainable, eco-conscious action is a critical issue, but don’t underestimate the inherent result of sustainable economics that translates into brand loyalty more intimate and personal than any ad campaign.

The RealReal reports demand for Burberry has increased 64% year-over-year, with Millennial and GenZ customer searches rising fastest on its site. In addition, the ThredUp 2019 Resale Report states that Burberry is the luxury brand with the best resale value; Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermès, and Prada are lower on that list.

Related: Caroline Knudssen Fronts Riccardo Tisci’s NET-A-PORTER x Burberry Fall 2019 Collection

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Burberry Launches Econyl Sustainable Nylon Collection In Both Heritage + New Icons Designs

Burberry joins Prada’s June 2019 similar announcement of launching collections made with Econyl, the sustainable nylon yarn made from regenerated fishing nets, fabric scraps and industrial plastic.

The highlights of Burberry’s Econyl capsule include its heritage trench and lightweight classic car coat silhouettes, as well as what the brand is calling new icons, the logo-print oversized cape, fleece-lined puffer and reversible bomber jacket.

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Burberry states that the introduction of the sustainable fashion collection is part of its plan to tackle what it calls an “environmental waste issue while creating a sustainable and versatile material” and is “just one example of the 50 disruptions Burberry is making throughout its supply chain to create a more circular fashion industry”.

Giulio Bonazzi, chief executive at Aquafil added: “We are delighted to collaborate with Burberry for this capsule collection. We believe innovative fibres like Econyl regenerated nylon are the future and are proud to support brands who use our yarns, transforming waste into incredible designs and raising the profile and possibilities of a more circular fashion system.”

Burberry’s Econyl collection is the latest innovative sustainable introduction, recently the fashion house collaborated with company 37.5 to use volcanic sand and waste coconut shell in thermoregulation technology for its quilted jackets, and it introduced Refibra, a new yarn produced by upcycling cotton leftovers from the Burberry Mill in Yorkshire, to make its dust bags for all jewellery and leather goods.

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Burberry Agrees 'Suicide isn't fashion', Apologizes For Parading Lynching Noose Down Runway

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Burberry Agrees 'Suicide isn't fashion', Apologizes For Parading Lynching Noose Down Runway

Add another “what were they thinking!!!” designer must-have to your Fall 2019 luxury shopping list. Insisting that the design was inspired by a marine theme that ran throughout the entire collection, Burberry agrees that their noose is easily understood as making both suicide and lynching fashionable. Given everything that’s happening around Gucci and Prada’s wild-side walk with blackface, it’s pretty incredible that these mishaps keep happening.

"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused by one of the products that featured in our A/W 2019 runway collection," Marco Gobbetti, Burberry chief executive officer, said in a statement provided to CNN.

The design was criticized by model Liz Kennedy, who wore it on the runway and claims that her expressed concerns about the noose were dismissed. Even wearing it during the show potentially put Kennedy in her own tough spot with social media. It was Kennedy who posted this message to Burberry on her Instagram:

Burberry Formally Gives Up Fur, Moves To Recycled Packaging & Will Stop Burning Excess Inventory

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Burberry Formally Gives Up Fur, Moves To Recycled Packaging & Will Stop Burning Excess Inventory

Burberry made two announcements on Thursday, following up on its May 2018 promise to review its use of real fur in its collections. Equally important, Burberry's chief executive Marco Gobbetti responded to criticism from the general public over its practice of destroying its unsold luxury products. In a first move for the luxury brands market, Burberry will become the first company to reuse, repair, donate or recycle all of its unsaleable products. 

Gobbetti said: “Modern luxury means being socially and environmentally responsible. 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.”

The amount of stock Burberry destroys had risen sharply in recent years, from £5.5 million in fiscal year 2013 to £28.6 million in the last fiscal year. Gobbetti also announced that the creation of a new logo triggered a need for all new packaging, shopping bags, marketing materials, and they would now use recycled materials. 

As for the company's use of fur, it's over at Burberry. Riccardo Tisci's debut collection presented at London Fashion Week on September 17 will be fur free. 

Riccardo Tisci Shares New Burberry Logo and Monogram, Designed With Peter Saville

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Burberry's new Chief Creative Director Riccardo Tisci has collaborated with British art director and graphic designer Peter Saville on a new 21st century logo and red-honey monogram for the British heritage brand. The new visuals were inspired by the Burberry archives where Tisci found a logo from 1908 and a Thomas Burberry monogram.

"Peter is one of our generation's greatest design geniuses," said Tisci who joined Burberry in March. "I'm so hapy to have collaborated together to reimagine the new visual language for the House." Saville also partnered with his longtime collaborator Raf Simons to create Calvin Klein's log. 

Excitement is mounting for Tisci's London Fashion Week show in September, where the designer will put his new product strategy in place. Tisci will release a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his first ready-to-wear offering in order to build on its see-now-buy-now model, and keep the delivery cycle dynamic and fresh.

Burberry's collaboration on re-imagined British heritage pieces with Dame Vivienne Westwood will arrive for December holiday selling. The Westwood collab will support the rainforest charity Cool Earth. 

Is Meghan Markle's No Fur Stance Influencing Burberry Talks On Pledging A No Fur Policy?

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Anti-fur protesters have made Burberry a recent target of its protests, and the luxury brand is reconsidering its use of fur in the future. 

“On the limited occasions . . . fur has been considered important to design, we have insisted that it is sourced from authorised, regularly inspected suppliers operating to high ethical standards,” the fashion house said. “There wasn’t any real fur in Burberry’s September 2017 or February 2018 runway collections. We can confirm that we are currently reviewing our use of real fur.”

The timing is perfect, given two other British events that could impact the use the fur in Britain.

Parliament will debate a UK-wide fur trade ban next month, following a petition by Brian May, the #FurFreeBritain coalition and the Humane Society, which reached 425,834 signatures. Once the threshold is met, all similar petitions must be debated in Parliament.

Consider that the 2017 petition demanding that Donald Trump not come to Britain on an official state visit garnered over 1.25m signatures.  The petition didn't ban Trump from the country, just from an official state visit. It was announced on April 26, 2018 that Trump will visit the UK on Friday, July 13, after a meeting of Nato leaders in Brussels.

Another American garnering far more positive enthusiasm than Trump among the British people is Meghan Markle, soon to marry Prince Harry.  The Humane Society's executive director Claire Bass believes that style-influencer Markle is instrumental in Burberry's decision.