Try Google searching luxury brands deep burying product that does not sell. I tried and couldn’t find anything.

Those who work in the resource recovery sector on behalf of luxury brands may know a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes in deep landfill burial. But it’s news to me and I’m sure a vast majority of the consumer population have never heard of it.

It begs the obvious question, how do luxury brands stay elusive and desirable, even when they’re not selling product?

Poor sales tracking in retail and consumer markets have been prevalent for a number of years. Consumer spending had dropped significantly 6-8 years ago and has never fully recovered since. Although Australia is somewhat in a financial bubble, which has fortunately enabled job creation, consumer spending on experiential activities has been supporting our spending bubble.

Brands of all kinds are doing it tough and even when luxury labels aren’t selling, those Gucci loafers or Coach handbags won’t be sold to staff or given to charities for fundraising — that would be a huge no, no! They’re taken to secretive disclosed locations to be deep-buried. A process which has been happening pretty-well forever. Expensive luxury goods are packed into trucks, on average equating to a massive $200K recommend-retail, then offloaded into super deep pre-dug holes at great depths below the surface.

The reason (the luxury brands say) is they can’t afford to compromise the exclusivity of the products which their consumers values and also the image of scarcity to the general public. The compounding nature of such drastic lengths to protect the face-value of brand identity is counterproductive. In the manufacturing process and where creation begins in the form of crude raw materials being treated through over 200 processes to formulate only a quarter of the finished product, which is destined to be hundreds of feet buried underground in landfill.

Where do you connect the dots from the comments and remarks made by Kering (around sustainability) and those of the resource recovery companies looking to assist with the best methods of practice to extend the lifetime value and properties of luxury goods into another product form?

There are several Australian companies working independently working on resource recovery who stand by their pledge they can help luxury companies to cease and diciest from landfill dumping and burying pre-consumer goods.

The top 5 reasons why companies landfill or destroy pre-consumer goods:

  1. issues around returned items
  2. stock defects
  3. non-saleable stock
  4. unwanted redundant stock
  5. excess stock

Adaption is underway with the conversation happening with some of Australia’s largest organisations, particularly those who profit immensely from high consumer spending in fashion retail. Building better relationships with resource recovery facilities (which protect brand identities) is an opportunity in the immediate future.


More conversation and interesting comments to come over the next few months. In the meantime check out our article on the rise of the ‘Conscious Consumer’.

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