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Credit Given To Where Credit’s Due: Boohoo Opens ‘Model’ Factory in Leicester


Online fashion retailer Boohoo Group has stuck by its pledge to eradicate poor supply chain practices and has opened its own state-of-the-art factory on the outskirts of Leicester. The 23,000 square foot factory has been created inside the former Marshall garage in Thurmaston Lane and has the capacity to employ 180 workers. 

In the summer of 2020 a negative light was shone on UK manufacturer’s with a particularly damning report on 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. 

Since the report Boohoo pledged to step up and make changes, they restructured the company 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. They disclosed their supplier list and announced they would build their own Leicester factory. And they have!

Inside Boohoo’s new factory

In 2019 Fashion-Enter Ltd CEO Jenny Holloway warned retailers and etailers that if they didn’t change the way they would buy then there was going to be a big impact on overstocking, lower margins and waste. Jenny teamed up with lean expert James Stewart who was the ex-Lean Buying Director from Burberry and created a top level accredited seminar on adapting to new lean business models for the fashion and retail industry. (This was written and devised of course before COVID and the pandemic just escalated the timings of impending doom!) 

Jenny commented: “Fashion buying practices haven’t changed for over 30-years and in this time consumers have been transformed by the internet. They are better informed than ever before, they know what they like, trends are less important because consumers won’t wait. They see a latest influencer and they want it – now!  The only way you do this is to be joined-at-the-hip with manufacturers.

Credit now to Boohoo. They said they would open a factory in Leicester and they did!”

“Over the last 18-months the group has invested millions into the factory in Thurmaston Lane, which has capacity to make 20,000 to 25,000 items a week, and is equipped with the technology to produce made-to-order items and add customised prints.

They have invested in skills, the local workforce – guaranteeing minimum pay rates and providing details for workers rights. 

“This is a bold move and one that surely sets a trend for retailers to vertically integrate backwards. Credit given to where credit’s due.”  

The Boohoo Leicester factory has now opened and is employing and training its workforce.

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