“Unbelievable” Boohoo Denying Knowledge of Factory Allegations, Says MP | Business

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Boohoo has been criticized by the chair of an influential committee of lawmakers, who said that the online fashion company had failed to respond to malpractice warnings in Leicester factories.Philip Dunne, chairman of the environmental audit committee, who interviewed Boohoo co-founder Carol Kane on the issues at factories in Leicester in November 2018 for a report on the rapid fashion industry, challenged the allegations that the group was unaware of potentially illegal work practices at factories manufacturing its garments.

Boohoo said on July 8 that he was “shocked and dismayed” by allegations that one of his suppliers employed workers at wages below the minimum wage and said that he had launched an independent review of his chain supply.

However, Dunne asked how the company could be shocked by reports of malpractice in Leicester. “It is incredible that more than a year after the committee uncovered illegal working practices in its supply chain, Boohoo has publicly denied knowledge of what has been going on for years.

“It is shameful that it took a pandemic and the resulting outrage for working practices in their supply chain for Boohoo to be finally blamed for turning a blind eye. ”

He added that Boohoo had not fulfilled the commitment to sign the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), an organization that brings together retailers, unions and campaign groups to try to improve practices in chains. supply.

ETI stated that Boohoo had not made a formal application for membership and stopped contacting it directly after the agency asked the online retailer to enter into negotiations with the Usdaw union on the representation of workers in his Burnley warehouse.

Peter McAllister, the ETI’s executive director, said any discussion of Boohoo’s joining the group would have required “a rigorous review of the company’s operations.” “We are not convinced that [Boohoo] would respond to a number of essential aspects essential for joining the ETI, ”he added.

Dunne also criticized Boohoo for not officially recognizing or meeting Usdaw.

A Boohoo spokesperson said, “We acknowledge receiving a letter from the EAC [on Wednesday] afternoon and we will of course respond in due course. ”

On Wednesday, the company’s shares fell another 3%, down 46% since allegations of professional misconduct at its Leicester factories emerged last week.

Rival online fashion retailer Asos said on Wednesday it is considering taking action against a supplier in Leicester after finding the factory violated its ethical trading standards during the coronavirus outbreak.

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