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.

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.

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

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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@riccardotisci17Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy and since this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice, here I go. Riccardo Tisci and everyone at Burberry it is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway. How could anyone overlook this and think it would be okay to do this especially in a line dedicated to young girls and youth. The impressionable youth. Not to mention the rising suicide rates world wide. Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either. There are hundreds of ways to tie a rope and they chose to tie it like a noose completely ignoring the fact that it was hanging around a neck. A massive brand like Burberry who is typically considered commercial and classy should not have overlooked such an obvious resemblance. I left my fitting extremely triggered after seeing this look (even though I did not wear it myself). Feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family. Also to add in they briefly hung one from the ceiling (trying to figure out the knot) and were laughing about it in the dressing room. I had asked to speak to someone about it but the only thing I was told to do was to write a letter. I had a brief conversation with someone but all that it entailed was “it’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself” well I’m sorry but this is an issue bigger than myself. The issue is not about me being upset, there is a bigger picture here of what fashion turns a blind eye to or does to gain publicity. A look so ignorantly put together and a situation so poorly handled. I am ashamed to have been apart of the show.#burberry. I did not post this to disrespect the designer or the brand but to simply express an issue I feel very passionate about.

Antonis Kousoulis, associate director of research at The UK's Mental Health Foundation, was also critical of the noose design concept, saying the incident demonstrated the need for fashion houses to examine their creative processes.

"It is disappointing to see this representation in our day and age considering how much ground we have covered in mental health in recent years," Kousoulis said.

"I was glad to hear that the fashion house apologized and pulled the item, but, more generally, I would like to see more diversity in the creative process," Kousoulis added. "Highly influential global brands like Burberry certainly have a role to play in giving a voice to diverse views, respecting people with lived experience, and being role models."

The call for more diversity in the creative process is echoed by new developments at both Prada and Gucci to insure that such overtly historically racist references be at least addressed within the design team. These teams should be multicultural under the best of circumstances. But as a design head myself, it’s impossible for me to understand how white people live such culturally isolated, uninformed lives about race that they can’t see what is a blaring, racist bugle horn blaring before my eyes. These incidents would never have happened on my watch at Victoria’s Secret. ~ Anne

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

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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. 

Wendy Higgins of Humane Society International UK said it first met Burberry almost a decade ago to urge the company to drop fur.

“Most British consumers don’t want anything to do with the cruelty of fur and so this is absolutely the right decision by this quintessentially British brand. And as fashion week kicks off today in New York, Burberry’s compassionate stance couldn't have come at a better time, sending a strong message to designers like Prada still using fur, who are looking more and more isolated and outdated by the day.”

Vogue Arabia reviews other Burberry progress in the sustainable section: "In the past year, Burberry formed an alliance with sustainable luxury company Elvis & Kresse to transform 120 tonnes of leather offcuts into new products over the specified time period. It has also financially backed the Burberry Material Futures Research Group in partnership with the Royal College of Art to invent new sustainable materials. And, in May 2018, it signed up to the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular Initiative. These efforts have been recognized by the brand’s inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third consecutive year."