Claims of exploitation have led major online clothing destinations including ASOS and Zalando to drop Boohoo from the extensive list of brands they retail. Following recent events, popular fashion retailer – Boohoo have allegedly been found to pay staff significantly below The National Minimum Wage, and failed to address hazardous working conditions in supplier factory.
A report by the Sunday’s Times has revealed claims that staff were paid as little as £3.50 per hour, with no precautions taken for COVID-19. Responding to the controversy, Boohoo stated that should the claims be true it is “totally unacceptable”. Further to this, Boohoo denied responsibility, however stated they would “thoroughly investigate”.
“We will not hesitate to immediately terminate relationships with any supplier who is found not to be acting within both the letter and spirit of our supplier code of conduct.” – Boohoo
Unsurprisingly, the company’s shares fell by 12% after the allegations were published. This isn’t the first time Boohoo have been scrutinised for their regulations. Labour Behind the Label (a workers’ rights group) made claims that employees in Leicester were “…being forced to come into work while sick with COVID-19.”
Investigations and action by key players associated with and in the supply chains have started. High-street chain – Next removed Boohoo lines from their shelves and have initiated investigation over the claims. Clothing items will remain off their sites until the issue is sufficiently resolved. A spokesman said “Next concluded there is a case for Boohoo Group to answer.”
Boohoo’s stockists – Zalando followed suit and stated that the German e-commerce site “..has made the decision to delist all products by Boohoo Group and subsidiaries and pause all new business with Boohoo effective 7 July”.
“[Action will be taken] to address endemic human rights issues identified with Boohoo and in their supply chain.“
Exploitation of employees (particularly in the fashion industry) can, unfortunately go unnoticed and unchallenged for years. The driving forces of fast fashion, whether profit or uncapped consumerism, will continue to foster situations like the above. Every stage of the supply chain is responsible, including the consumer. So we need to rectify this and do what we can where possible, whether that be thrifting or upcycling. There’s a lingering hope that the future will bring fewer cases of profit being valued more than the people who helped to attain it.
Words By Louise Worthington – Fashion Contributing Writer
Disclaimer- all images used within this article have been sourced from Boohoo‘s official website and Google. Ragged Culture Publishing Ltd. does not own the copyright to the images within this article. All rights reserved.