From today onwards, clothes and accessories from Britain’s biggest luxury brand can also be rented. Burberry announced it’s partnership with My Wardrobe HQ; a platform offering renting and reselling of luxury items. The platform already saw huge demand for Burberry items on its peer-to-peer platform, where lending directly from the brand is now added.
It is exciting that Burberry is now collaborating with My Wardobe HQ, as the company donates 40% of it’s profits to Smart Works. Smart Works is a charity that provides high quality business attire and coaching for women with lesser economic opportunities.
Burberry’s products will be offered for rent at My Wardrobe HQ with prices ranging between 41 and 170 pound per week. Besides renting, products will be made available for resell through the platform as well. Resell prices start at 111 pound and go up to 750 pound for a trench coat.
Is Burberry really getting more sustainable?
Burberry stated that adding renting and reselling as an option is part of their sustainability strategy. However, a critical note needs to be added here.
First of all, 50 per cent of My Wardrobe HQ’s rentals convert into a purchase. Hence, the main business model of this platform is more accurately to be described as a “try-before-you-buy”-model rather than renting.
Second, research by Remake showed that Burberry is not showing a move towards cutting down growth of its regular business model. Instead, sustainable business models like renting and reselling are an addition to their already existing revenue streams and show no effect in reducing production levels.
Given that Burberry has frequently been called out on their overproduction (some sustainable brands even turn the brand’s waste into new products), the impact of this move on the brand’s overall impact on the environment is too small to be considered a move towards sustainability. Let alone the fact that the company still has not guaranteed that it pays all of it’s garment workers a liveable wage.
The impact of this move on the brand’s overall impact on the environment is too small to be considered a move towards sustainability.
In conclusion, it is exciting that Burberry is now collaborating with My Wardrobe HQ (as the company gives 40% of it’s profits to Smart Works) but it does not address any of the harm Burberry’s regular business model brings.