To maintain the prestige and scarcity of their brands, a number of fashion and luxury goods businesses destroy tens of millions of pounds worth of unwanted items every year.  

While it might seem like an expensive and drastic step to take, the cost of not doing so is likely to be even higher.

For example, it was reported recently that Burberry, the iconic British fashion label, destroyed unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth an astonishing £28.6m last year. 

Richemont, which owns Cartier and Montblanc, has reportedly bought back £430m worth of watches over the last two years.

There's no doubt it helps reduce the amount of stolen stock in circulation, and avoids heavily discounted end-of-the-line stock, which in turn helps maintain the luxury status of such brands. 

While these methods (and figures) might seem quite drastic, brands have no doubt done the maths and concluded that, on balance, it's a price worth paying. It's worth keeping in mind, too, that these figures are probably based on the full retail prices of these goods, so they don't reflect the real cost to the brand of taking this kind of action.