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Boohoo closing its first manufacturing site after allegation of unethical practices

Boohoo is considering closing its first-ever manufacturing site after a BBC investigation found it had broken promises to make clothes ethically.

Boohoo is a British online fashion retailer that was founded in 2006. Boohoo focuses on providing trendy and affordable fashion for young men and women, offering a wide range of clothing, shoes, accessories, and beauty products.

Boohoo has gained popularity for its fast-fashion business model, which involves quickly producing and releasing new designs to keep up with the latest trends. Its business model relies heavily on e-commerce, with the majority of its sales occurring through its online platform. However, Boohoo has faced criticism and controversy, particularly regarding labor practices in its supply chain. Reports of poor working conditions and low wages in some of its supplier factories have led to scrutiny and calls for improved ethical practices within the company. Boohoo has stated its commitment to addressing these issues and improving transparency in its supply chain.

The company opened its own manufacturing facility at Thurmaston Lane, Leicester, in 2022, with plans for it to also be used as a training facility. But a reporter at the firm’s headquarters saw evidence of staff pressuring suppliers to drive prices down, even after deals had been agreed.

Confirming closure the Manchester-based firm said fewer than 100 employees at the factory might be affected, and it expected “some roles” to be relocated. A spokesperson added: “We opened Thurmaston Lane in January 2022 to support the group in several ways, including manufacturing, printing and training.

According to company sources somefactors relating to efficiencyhave led us to make the difficult decision to consider relocating some of the operations at Thurmaston Lane and consider the closure of the site in due course.

The firm had faced allegations over poor pay and supply chain failings prior to the opening of the factory. In 2020, Boohoo pledged to overhaul its practices after claims it had tolerated widespread abuses of employment law at some of its suppliers in Leicester. Company promised to eliminate unethical practice from the supply chain

But BBC reporter Emma Lowther saw those promises being consistently undermined during her 10 weeks undercover at Boohoo’s head office, where she worked as an admin assistant.

The BBC investigation, published two months ago, revealed that Boohoo put pressure on suppliers to drive prices down – even after orders had been agreed. It also found hundreds of orders placed with Thurmaston Lane were actually being made by seven factories in Morocco, and four in Leicester.

Boohoo’s lawyers conceded that Thurmaston Lane only makes 1 percent of all Boohoo’s garments.

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