Fashion’s best-kept secret is its criminal waste. Luxury brands would rather destroy their unsold stock than offer discounts. Tons of unsold stocks in mint condition are destroyed every year by brands. Reasons could be to keep the demand high and supply low; to ensure that nothing goes into the discount market, and to maintain the exclusivity and mystique associated with their brands.
Every sort of luxury product—from watches to perfumes and bags--has been destroyed. And since fashion cycles are increasingly getting shorter, due to the alarming regularity with which fashion weeks are hosted, there is a lot of excess stock to destroy. Impairment of inventories are done because of product obsolescence (end of season collection, approaching date of expiry etc.) or lack of sales prospects.
Some brands dump their products by holding private sales for their employees and journalists covering luxury. Once that is done, they just burn the rest of the merchandise. Rather than destroying, one way out for brands is a drop in production. Another way is to design products that can be recycled, with a focus on creativity and innovation to avoid unsustainable practices. Curtailing excess production and large-scale destruction are two crucial issues that the luxury industry will have to think about a lot more seriously.