The Journal

Burberry Burned £90m Of Goods So "Luxury" Buyers Could Feel Better About Themselves

Posted by Anne Wesley on

According to BBC, Burberry burned £90m of unsold clothes, accessories, and perfume over the last five years to protect its brand. Burning overstock goods, rather than recycling them, keeps them out of the hands of discounters, as well as saves the company in storage costs. In an oversimplification of economics, it's Burberry's solution to controlling their demand and supply curve. Unable to push demand by consumers further, by limiting supply in the open market, even if it's literally by purposefully burning goods into ashes, it pushes back the supply curve to where they can sell handbags for over $1k.

In more laymen terms, if consumers saw Burberry bags at TJ/TK Maxx or eBay for 60% off, then most consumers would stop seeing Burberry as a high-end luxury brand, especially compared to a company like Hermes were second-hand Birkin Bags still sell for at least $8-10K.

Nonetheless, this strategy has worked for Burberry, with average annual operating profits of £418m for the last five years. But while this may be an economically sound strategy, is it an ethically sound strategy.

From day one, Anne Wesley handcrafted items on a made-to-order basis because it minimizes fashion waste and, for us, a stand against fast fashion. If you're not aware, then fast fashion is fueling an environmental crisis. The clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, following just behind oil. For a more comprehensive look, read this Newsweek Article by Alden Wicker.

While consumers would never identify Burberry as a "fast fashion" brand, its wastefulness and environment impact are no different. Additionally, if Burberry has so little hesitation to burn its unsold goods, then what actually makes them a luxury goods brand. I have yet to read that Hermes is burning Birkin and Kelly Handbags in order to manipulate supply. From my understanding, Hermes simply makes less than what the market demands.

I would argue that true luxury, at its pinnacle, is bespoke (made-to-order), regardless of the price or brand. What matters most is not only quality materials but also craftsmanship. While I believe most craftsmen would admit that most handcrafted items will never have the same finishing as factory made items, that is often what is most important. Knowing that an actual artisan, with all their skills and faults, made-to-order your item just for you.

While I don't know for sure, I would bet a pretty penny that Jeff Bezon, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet are not wearing suits off the rack, but rather having them made-to-order to fit them properly.

My question to readers is this, especially those self-proclaimed brand loyalist, is "a luxury brand simply a company that spends millions of dollars in advertising, while also burning millions of dollars in unsold goods, in order to justify a high-end price. Or is luxury brand one that hand makes goods just for you, with premium materials, by passionate craftsmen, but without the brand name and premium price that goes along with it.

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According to BBC, Burberry burned £90m of unsold clothes, accessories, and perfume over the last five years to protect its brand. Burning overstock goods, rather than recycling them, keeps them out of the hands of discounters, as well as saves the company in storage costs. In an oversimplification of economics, it's Burberry's solution to controlling their demand and supply curve. Unable to push demand by consumers further, by limiting supply in the open market, even if it's literally by purposefully burning goods into ashes, it pushes back the supply curve to where they can sell handbags for over $1k.

In more laymen terms, if consumers saw Burberry bags at TJ/TK Maxx or eBay for 60% off, then most consumers would stop seeing Burberry as a high-end luxury brand, especially compared to a company like Hermes were second-hand Birkin Bags still sell for at least $8-10K.

Nonetheless, this strategy has worked for Burberry, with average annual operating profits of £418m for the last five years. But while this may be an economically sound strategy, is it an ethically sound strategy.

From day one, Anne Wesley handcrafted items on a made-to-order basis because it minimizes fashion waste and, for us, a stand against fast fashion. If you're not aware, then fast fashion is fueling an environmental crisis. The clothing and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, following just behind oil. For a more comprehensive look, read this Newsweek Article by Alden Wicker.

While consumers would never identify Burberry as a "fast fashion" brand, its wastefulness and environment impact are no different. Additionally, if Burberry has so little hesitation to burn its unsold goods, then what actually makes them a luxury goods brand. I have yet to read that Hermes is burning Birkin and Kelly Handbags in order to manipulate supply. From my understanding, Hermes simply makes less than what the market demands.

I would argue that true luxury, at its pinnacle, is bespoke (made-to-order), regardless of the price or brand. What matters most is not only quality materials but also craftsmanship. While I believe most craftsmen would admit that most handcrafted items will never have the same finishing as factory made items, that is often what is most important. Knowing that an actual artisan, with all their skills and faults, made-to-order your item just for you.

While I don't know for sure, I would bet a pretty penny that Jeff Bezon, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet are not wearing suits off the rack, but rather having them made-to-order to fit them properly.

My question to readers is this, especially those self-proclaimed brand loyalist, is "a luxury brand simply a company that spends millions of dollars in advertising, while also burning millions of dollars in unsold goods, in order to justify a high-end price. Or is luxury brand one that hand makes goods just for you, with premium materials, by passionate craftsmen, but without the brand name and premium price that goes along with it.

Read more


California Street, San Francisco

Posted by Anne Wesley on

California Street is one of the longest streets in San Francisco, and includes a number of important landmarks.

San Francisco is home to a little bit of everything.

A little bit of history!

The history of the city of San Francisco, California, and its development as a center of maritime trade, were shaped by its location at the entrance to a large natural harbor. San Francisco is the name of both the city and the county; the two share the same boundaries.

Starting overnight as the base for the gold rush of 1849, the city quickly became the largest and most important population, commercial, naval, and financial center in the American West.

San Francisco was devastated by a great earthquake and fire in 1906 but was quickly rebuilt.

The San Francisco Federal Reserve Branch opened in 1914, and the city continued to develop as a major business city throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Starting in the latter half of the 1960s, San Francisco became the city most famous for the hippie movement.

In recent decades, San Francisco has become an important center of finance and technology; its proximity to Silicon Valley and its influx of high-income workers has led to the city being one of America's most expensive places to live.

San Francisco is currently ranked sixteenth on the Global Financial Centres Index. [wikipedia]

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods

Read more

California Street, San Francisco

Posted by Anne Wesley on

California Street is one of the longest streets in San Francisco, and includes a number of important landmarks.

San Francisco is home to a little bit of everything.

A little bit of history!

The history of the city of San Francisco, California, and its development as a center of maritime trade, were shaped by its location at the entrance to a large natural harbor. San Francisco is the name of both the city and the county; the two share the same boundaries.

Starting overnight as the base for the gold rush of 1849, the city quickly became the largest and most important population, commercial, naval, and financial center in the American West.

San Francisco was devastated by a great earthquake and fire in 1906 but was quickly rebuilt.

The San Francisco Federal Reserve Branch opened in 1914, and the city continued to develop as a major business city throughout the first half of the 20th century.

Starting in the latter half of the 1960s, San Francisco became the city most famous for the hippie movement.

In recent decades, San Francisco has become an important center of finance and technology; its proximity to Silicon Valley and its influx of high-income workers has led to the city being one of America's most expensive places to live.

San Francisco is currently ranked sixteenth on the Global Financial Centres Index. [wikipedia]

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods

Read more


Berries & Me

Posted by Anne Wesley on

I love berries. They’re sometimes sweet, mostly sour and among the healthiest food you can eat.

They’re loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber, packed with many nutrients, and tasted great alone or with other stuff.

A simple yet delicious recipe is Yogurt + Berries. Vanilla yogurt, topped with some strawberries and blueberries. You can put some milk and blend all into a smoothie too.

Good health always brings happiness. Let's keep it going!

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods.

Read more

Berries & Me

Posted by Anne Wesley on

I love berries. They’re sometimes sweet, mostly sour and among the healthiest food you can eat.

They’re loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber, packed with many nutrients, and tasted great alone or with other stuff.

A simple yet delicious recipe is Yogurt + Berries. Vanilla yogurt, topped with some strawberries and blueberries. You can put some milk and blend all into a smoothie too.

Good health always brings happiness. Let's keep it going!

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods.

Read more


All-in-One Travel Wallet

Posted by Anne Wesley on

One Passport, One Journal, One Pen, Some Cards

When we travel, less is more. Carrying less so that we can enjoy the trip more (not always achieved by me but at least I'm trying 😅).

Being organized also helps reduce the stress along the way when we need to find the passport, journal, travel cards or even a pen.

And that is literally wheat inspired me to create this All-in-One Travel Wallet that can fit everything I need.

I love pattern and I think why not putting it on the cover to create an even more unique piece.

Even without a trip, I still can use it as my daily commute journal cover and travel card holder too.

Can't wait to travel again. When and where is your next trip?

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods

Read more

All-in-One Travel Wallet

Posted by Anne Wesley on

One Passport, One Journal, One Pen, Some Cards

When we travel, less is more. Carrying less so that we can enjoy the trip more (not always achieved by me but at least I'm trying 😅).

Being organized also helps reduce the stress along the way when we need to find the passport, journal, travel cards or even a pen.

And that is literally wheat inspired me to create this All-in-One Travel Wallet that can fit everything I need.

I love pattern and I think why not putting it on the cover to create an even more unique piece.

Even without a trip, I still can use it as my daily commute journal cover and travel card holder too.

Can't wait to travel again. When and where is your next trip?

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods

Read more


The Old-World Tradition of Leather Tanning

Posted by Anne Wesley on

Vegetable Tanned Leather

Only 10% of the world’s leather is tanned using the traditional vegetable tanning method, the oldest and the most intricate process dating back to approximately 6000 BCE.

Vegetable tanning is an organic method relying on natural vegetable tannins from bark or other plant tissues.

It is a technique that is natural, eco-friendly, and extremely labor intensive, but produces a superior result.

While the modern chrome tanned process takes as little as one day, the vegetable tanning process takes anywhere from six weeks to six months and costs up to six times.

The only type of cow leather Anne Wesley uses is vegetable tanned and each item will arguably be made with one of the finest and most expensive leathers available in the world.

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods.

Read more

The Old-World Tradition of Leather Tanning

Posted by Anne Wesley on

Vegetable Tanned Leather

Only 10% of the world’s leather is tanned using the traditional vegetable tanning method, the oldest and the most intricate process dating back to approximately 6000 BCE.

Vegetable tanning is an organic method relying on natural vegetable tannins from bark or other plant tissues.

It is a technique that is natural, eco-friendly, and extremely labor intensive, but produces a superior result.

While the modern chrome tanned process takes as little as one day, the vegetable tanning process takes anywhere from six weeks to six months and costs up to six times.

The only type of cow leather Anne Wesley uses is vegetable tanned and each item will arguably be made with one of the finest and most expensive leathers available in the world.

ANNE WESLEY | SAN FRANCISCO
Made to Order. Leather Goods.

Read more