This campaign is now closed. We launched the campaign on Black Friday 2020- a national day of shopping frenzy when cheap mark ups see hundreds of thousands of shoppers drawn to buy. Over 1400 of you signed a petition, calling on Boohoo to pay their workers back for their unpaid wages, and get them to publish where their factories are.
Boohoo have published a list of their UK suppliers, but not yet signed up to the Transparency Pledge. They have promised full list in September so we will let you know if this happens, and if the list meets transparency requirements. We are continuing to lobby them behind the scenes to sign the Pledge.
You can still read more about the campaign, and our demands for Boohoo below.
Boohoo’s £3.50/hr workers are owed millions in back pay
Boohoo workers are having their wages stolen from them. Workers in Leicester are owed million of pounds in back pay after years of £3.50/hr work, which has established itself as a norm in the Leicester industry. This illegal exploitation has led to mass profits for Boohoo who have used the cheap manufacturing to build their business into a multi-million-pound profit engine.
Boohoo’s profits have soared in the pandemic, despite media exposes on poor factory conditions. Profits in the first half of 2020 rose by 51%, as Boohoo made £68.1m in profits in the six months to 31 August. Meanwhile, many other high street brands saw huge losses. The question we are made to ask when faced with these figures is was this margin made on the back of illegal work and who is being made to pay?
Boohoo must #GoTransparent
For years Boohoo have refused to say where their clothes are made yet anecdotally, we know that Boohoo source upwards of 70% of the product coming out of Leicester factories. Repeated studies have shown that clothes made in Leicester are made by workers on illegally low wages, working hugely long hours, paid through false pay slips and double records. During the pandemic, undercover investigations found furlough fraud, workers forced to come into factories even when ill, cramped and unsafe conditions, as well as £3.50/hr pay. All the while, Boohoo’s one inhouse auditor responsible for checking factory conditions was put on furlough… Boohoo must be honest about where its clothes are made and publish a supplier list without delay. This is the first step to change.
What do we want Boohoo to do?
If Boohoo is actually committed to addressing issues in its supply chain as they say, it needs to make sure that it is honest about the impact it has had on workers who have been making its clothes. Workers must be paid back in full for the wage gap between what they have been paid and the minimum wage, and boohoo must immediately publish a list of its factories to put on record the places where its clothes have been made and are being made now.
We are calling on Boohoo to Boohoo to:
1. Commit to ensure workers who have made their clothes receive at least the minimum wage for the work they have done.
2. Halt any practices of cutting and running from suppliers unless all worker concerns and backpay issues have been first remediated
3. Give union access at all their suppliers going forwards to improve worker representation and monitoring of conditions
4. Publish their supplier list and sign the transparency pledge now, without delay.
5. Sign the wage assurance statement to show a commitment to paying your workers and improving social security going forward.
- Exploited workers at UK garment factories ‘robbed’ of £27m since July’ (Guardian): https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/11/exploited-workers-at-uk-garment-factories-robbed-of-27m-since-july
- ‘Boohoo: fashion giant faces ‘slavery’ investigation’ (The Times): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boohoo-fashion-giant-faces-slavery-investigation-57s3hxcth
- ‘Boohoo + COVID-19: The people behind the profits’ (Labour Behind the Label): https://labourbehindthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LBL-Boohoo-WEB.pdf
- ‘Dark Factories: labour exploitation in Britain’s garment industry’ (FT): https://www.ft.com/content/e427327e-5892-11e8-b8b2-d6ceb45fa9d0
- ‘Boohoo profits soar despite factory conditions row’ (BBC): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54352818
- ‘Publication of and response to independent review’ (Boohoo PLC): https://www.boohooplc.com/sites/boohoo-corp/files/all-documents/result-centre/2020/rns-25-09-2020.pdf