Burberry has announced new diversity and inclusivity initiatives after it featured a controversial hoodie with a noose around the neck at London Fashion Week.
Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti has issued an official statement with a further apology on Instagram.
It reads: “At Burberry, we have always sought to build a culture that is diverse, open and inclusive and one where all perspectives are valued. The distress we caused with one of our products last week has shown us that we are not where we need or want to be. We are determined to learn from this and have spoken with our employees, experts and communities we impacted, we have developed a plan to increase our consciousness and understanding of social issues and fully embrace diversity and inclusion. We have a firm foundation from which to build. We have strong values, outstanding people and creativity at our core. Today, we are taking further steps to make real change happen.”
Burberry has released three overarching steps as part of its new action plan.
Firstly, it will increase its awareness of sensitive topics and social issues by introducing additional training for all employees, including those in senior roles. It will also will also establish “employee councils focused on diversity and inclusion,” as well as create an advisory board of external experts.
Its international creative artist scholarship will be expanded to fully support students and provide full-time employment for 50 graduates over the next five years.
In addition, Burberry Inspire, an in-school arts and culture program, will now extend internationally.