A large-scale Channel 4 investigation revealed that Fashion Square and United Creations, two British companies that make clothes for companies like River Island and New Look, pay their employees extremely low wages.
Well below minimum wage
Channel 4 sent a reporter undercover to two companies in Leicester that manufacture clothes for fashion retailers River Island, New Look, Boohoo and Missguided. It turned out that he received an hourly wage between 3.4 and 4 euro, even though the British minimum wage is 8.3 euro.
One of the bosses at Fashion Square allegedly said that “we don’t get paid much for our clothes and we need to compete with China and Bangladesh” as an explanation for the low wages. However, both his company and United Creations denied paying below minimum wage when asked by the programme makers afterwards.
River Island said it no longer works with Fashion Square after two failed audits in February 2016, while New Look said it reduced its number of UK suppliers by 80 % since 2011 to “address potential weaknesses in the supply chain” and no longer works with said companies.
Boohoo stated it has talked to United Creations to make sure it pays minimum wages at least, while Missguided launched its own internal investigation following the revelations.