Pres­sure on Boohoo to check sup­ply chain

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Laura Onita

FAST-FASH­ION busi­ness Boohoo is un­der grow­ing pres­sure to in­ves­ti­gate its sup­ply chain af­ter bosses ad­mit­ted the firm had no idea some of its clothes were made in a “sweat­shop” fac­tory in Le­ices­ter.

The com­pany said it was not aware that it was us­ing the fa­cil­ity, fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions in The Sun­day Times that it was pay­ing staff il­le­gally low wages and flout­ing safety mea­sures.

The fac­tory dis­played the sign Jaswal Fash­ions – but Boohoo said this firm had ceased trad­ing and the prop­erty was in fact now oc­cu­pied by an­other, uniden­ti­fied busi­ness.

Boohoo shares plunged 23pc, or 90.8p, to close at 296.7p – wip­ing £1.1bn off the value of the busi­ness. There are now ques­tions over how much the cut­price in­ter­net brand knows about its other sup­pli­ers. The re­tailer in­sisted the fac­tory in ques­tion was not a lead sup­plier and had been sub­con­tracted with­out its knowl­edge.

Boohoo has started an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine “how our gar­ments were in their hands”.

Staff at the plant claimed they were be­ing paid £3.50 an hour – not even half of the min­i­mum wage of £8.70.

The fac­tory stayed open de­spite a lo­cal lock­down in Le­ices­ter, ac­cord­ing to re­ports.

Boohoo, which sells T-shirts for as lit­tle as £3, called the work­ing con­di­tions “to­tally un­ac­cept­able”.

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