Now, I don’t know much about fashion, my usual dress sticks fairly closely to the jeans and T-shirt model and I have a love for brightly coloured Hawaiian shirts which clearly shows that I’m a little out of step with haute couture.
In fact the world of fashion is something I don’t understand in any way, shape or form. When I’ve seen TV shows about the industry I’ve always watched in amazement how seriously people take it and how wound up they get about it, as if their job is vitally important to the future of mankind.
It doesn’t help that many stories about the industry and its players mainly seem to suggest its a world of self-centred, image obsessed douches, yet this week I was shocked by something I learnt.
The ace actress, writer and MasterChef winner Emma Kennedy tweeted the other day:
Astonished to learn Louis Vuitton burn all their unsold bags each year.
This surprised me as well, and seems like a massive waste of resources. Its disgusting that in a world where resources are dwindling and overstretched that they’re being needlessly destroyed.
I get the thinking behind it, even if it is a logic grounded in the stupidity of the fashion industry. LV’s theory probably goes something like this- If a bunch of their bags wind up with prices slashed it’ll devalue their brand, and anyone could wind up walking around them, which is a bad thing for a company like LV, who’s entire reputation and success is based on being expensive, and thus exclusive.
But here’s the thing, why not just make less bags? In fact, and I’m not a business expert, so I may be wrong, but wouldn’t they actually make more money from producing less. They’d save on production costs, and also due to the limited supply they could charge even more for them. That’s just common sense- if there are 200 bags you can price them higher than if there are 2000, and there are going to be people willing to shell out the extra cash just to be part of the club.
Or, as Kennedy went on to say in her tweet:
What about auctioning them for charity instead?
This is a quality idea, and one you’d think LV would seize upon as it would be a big PR victory for them. They could play the environmentally friendly card (other companies destroy goods as well, I’m just focusing on LV because they were the first ones I’d heard of doing this) and also the good deed card. It would get them over with a lot of folks.
Also, there’d be no shortage of bidders. The fashion conscious but cash-strapped people would be willing to shed out a substantial wad of cash to get their hands on one of the bags, and would walk away feeling like they’d won because they’d be able to get it for less than its original retail price.
Why people are so obsessed with labels and brands baffles me, but then, so does the whole fashion industry.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.