Boohoo Suppliers Revealed
In the summer of 2020 a negative light was shone on UK manufacturer’s with a particularly damning report on the online fashion retailer Boohoo and its use of highly unethical factories based in the Leicester area. As a result Alison Levitt QC was hired by Boohoo to independently review its supply chain practices. Her report concluded that poor working practices were littered across the brands suppliers along with minimum wage breaches. This provided a huge wake-up call for Boohoo and UK manufacturers in general.
In the following months Boohoo restructured by adding more sustainability and ethical trade experts to its team. The group quickly devised UP.FRONT a sustainability plan to target issues such as supply chain management, better textiles and less waste. Along with joining groups like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Sustainable Clothing Action Plan and the Microfibre Consortium.
Boohoo’s three point focus areas include:
1. CLOTHES MADE SMARTER. Making clothes in a smarter way – with better materials, more sustainable design and less waste and packaging.
2. SUPPLIERS ON BETTER TERMS. Doing more for their suppliers – transparent supply chains, improved standards and management and a long-term commitment to those that work in fashion.
3. THEIR BUSINESS TAKING ACTION. Running the business responsibly – strong governance, a great place to work, tackling climate change, responsible marketing and a role in communities to be proud of.
In terms of supply chain and transparency the Boohoo timeline is planned as follows:
2021 – Disclose Boohoo supplier and factory list.
2021 – Publish purchasing practices.
2023 – Demonstrate improvements in UK garment factories and the positive impact on workers.
2025 – Map raw materials supply chain for key fibres.
2025 – Demonstrate the impact of improved supplier management over 5 years.
Sticking to the plan Boohoo has now revealed its entire UK supplier and factory list, 78 suppliers have been listed a huge proportion of which are based in the Leicester area. To view Boohoo’s supplier list tap here.
Along with the supplier list Sir Brian Leveson, appointed to oversee the brands progress, published a second progress report. The report states that Boohoo have reduced their supplier list from 500 to 78, severing ties with hundreds of companies. Improvements have been made in the monitoring of factory staff and new contracts and the brand has banned subcontracting practices by its main suppliers. Concerns were raised by Leveson regarding the use of zero-hours contracts however on the whole the report paints a picture of improvement for the brand.
At Fashion-Enter Ltd the ethos has always been to work together to ensure that UK manufacturing is associated with quality and that its workers are respected and paid properly for their skills. Now, with a new FC Fashion Technology Academy due to open in Leicester later this year there is a collective aim to create a Made in the UK apparel industry to be proud of.