Boohoo Facing Boycott Following Slave Labour Claims
It’s about time…
Fast fashion brand Boohoo has come under fire this week after allegations of poor working conditions in their Leicester factory were made, following an investigation by The Times.
Claims made include: employees being made to work under cramped and unhygienic conditions that did not comply with lock-down safety regulations, and being paid as little as £3.50 per hour (well below the UK National Minimum Living Wage).
Since the claims against the brand have surfaced the hashtag #boycottboohoo has been sweeping Instagram and Twitter, with people calling out the fast fashion label for the use of modern slavery.
Boohoo, along with many other fast fashion labels have long relied on ‘influencers’ to promote their brands, using the likes of reality TV shows stars, such as the cast of Love Island. One influencer to come out against the brand as part of the boycott is Vas J Morgan, who wrote on his Instagram “Slavery is slavery and my heart hurts for the families that have suffered at the hands of companies that fail to do due diligence like this.”
Not only has the UK Government now launched a further review into the factory in question, but Boohoo has claimed it will also launch its own private investigation into its supply chain. But is this enough?
Venetia La Manna, an ethical fashion campaigner, has highlighted that “this isn’t the first time they’ve [Boohoo] been outed for this exploitation.” She points out that Labour Behind The Label have called on Boohoo to take action to improve their working conditions many times before to no avail.
Although it is Boohoo in particular that is under fire now, this is an industry wide problem. La Manna points out that there are many resources you can find on the internet that educate us in great detail about the dark side of the fast fashion model, and with these resources so readily available it makes you wonder why nothing has been done to over-haul this damaging model sooner.
So what is the difference this time? It seems in many ways that 2020 so far has the been the year for people to listen up and demand more change, and we hope that this pattern of accepting accountability will not fall short for Boohoo on over-hauling the way they work within the industry. But we can’t help but look back over the past few years and acknowledge the failure of fast fashion brands to take any action as of yet.
Following the dialogue surrounding Boohoo this week, shares have reportedly dropped to almost half, highlighting that the accusations against the label are not being taken lightly and they are, it seems, translating into real action. On top of this, ASOS and Next who were previously stockists of Boohoo’s clothes have since dropped the label from their websites, in solidarity of the #boycottboohoo movement.
We hope that this is more than just a moment against Boohoo and will act as a continued wake-up call for all fast fashion labels, that this type of exploitation of garment workers will not be tolerated.