Labour Behind the Label has launched a campaign calling on fashion retailer boohoo to publish their supply chain and tell the public about the working conditions and wages behind their low-cost clothing.
Labour Behind the Label report:
boohoo sells dresses for as little as £4, a price that is too good to be true. With prices this low it is unlikely that the workers making their clothes will have fair wages and be free from exploitation. boohoo won’t tell us which factories produce their clothes, so the human cost behind the price tag remains hidden.
Whilst shoppers pay low prices for boohoo clothing, workers who make the clothes feel the real cost. boohoo produces numerous small batches of clothes and sells them quickly online, before ramping up production of popular lines. This quick turnaround means that around half of boohoo’s production takes place in UK garment factories, many in Leicester, minimising transportation times. The National Living Wage in the UK is £8.21 per hour, whilst the Living Wage Foundation sets it as £9 per hour. How can boohoo pay workers a fair wage for making a dress which is sold for only £4?
Exposés by Channel 4’s Dispatches and The Daily Mirror have found that workers in UK garment factories are regularly paid less than half the minimum wage. Research by the Ethical Trading Initiative and the University of Leicester have found that it’s common for workers in Leicester to be paid illegal wages.
As well as the UK, boohoo’s top sourcing countries include China, India and Turkey. Without knowing which factories boohoo source from, pay and conditions for boohoo’s workers are cloaked in secrecy. We do however know that the norm for workers throughout the global garment industry is poverty pay, unsafe working conditions, and excessive overtime.