In July, fashion retailer Boohoo became the latest company embroiled in an ethics scandal, accused of modern slavery.
A Sunday Times UK investigation found that Boohoo was selling clothes made in a Leicester factory who were reportedly paying garment workers as little as £3.50 an hour (the minimum wage is £8.50) and failing to protect workers against Covid-19.
In response, the company, which has said it takes a “zero-tolerance” approach to malpractice, terminated contracts with one supplier and one subcontractor and launched an independent review into its supply chain.
Then just a few days ago, The Guardian UK exclusively reported that at least 18 other factories where Boohoo made clothing in Leicester had failed to prove they pay the minimum wage to workers in audits as recent as a few weeks ago and dating back 4 years, leading to Boohoo suspending orders at a number of factories.
“to know so little about the sourcing, processes and practices involved in creating a product you sell should be a crime itself” – Jessi Baker, CEO & Founder, ProvenanceWhen the first investigation was reported, Boohoo said that they were ‘shocked and appalled’, but as Jessi Baker, CEO & Founder of Provenance rightly said in this article, “to know so little about the sourcing, processes and practices involved in creating a product you sell should be a crime itself”.
Note that the living wage in the UK is actually £9.30 and in London it is £10.75.