Boohoo acknowledges abuses in factories

Garment from retail brand Boohoo
Photo: somemeans /

Boohoo admits that several 'unacceptable' abuses have been discovered in the fashion group's supply chain. This is evident from its own investigations into allegations of slavery.


Modern slavery

Fast-fashion label Boohoo came into the eye of a media storm this summer after newspaper The Sunday Times accused the clothing producer of modern slavery in a workshop in the British city of Leicester. The British fashion group, which excels in extremely fast production times and trendy clothing at low prices, works mainly with factories close to home because of its short lead times.

However, there also appears to be exploitation in the domestic market: according to the newspaper, seamstresses earned 3.89 euros per hour, worked in appalling conditions and were insufficiently protected from the corona virus. After major customers, such as online marketplaces Asos and Zalando, promptly stopped cooperation and major influencers turned against the brand, Boohoo launched its own investigation.


"Not intentional

The study has now "identified significant and clearly unacceptable issues in our supply chain," admits CEO John Lyttle. The retailer doesn't give details, but it's true that some workers have not always been properly paid, and many workers were not fully aware of their rights and obligations, according to the report, Reuters writes. Although there is also a positive note: Boohoo appears to "not intentionally" allow poor conditions and low wages, and " is not founded on exploiting workers."

Boohoo acknowledges in a press statement that there is an urgent need for change. Six concrete steps have already been taken to improve vigilance, including the appointment of new independent directors to the board of directors, the establishment of two committees and the issue will become a permanent item at board meetings. "It is clear that we need to go further and faster," said Lyttle.