Manchester-based online fashion giant Boohoo Group plc said on Thursday it is cutting more than 400 companies from its supplier network following a report last year that was critical about labour practices at some of those businesses.
Boohoo published a list of 78 approved manufacturers operating across 100 sites in the UK — a big reduction from an estimated 500 suppliers identified in an independent review of the business by Alison Levitt QC last year.
In a stock exchange statement, Boohoo said: “The group’s consolidated UK supply chain list is the result of extensive mapping and auditing work, introducing changes to the way it works with its suppliers in order to create stronger partnerships and more sustainable business practices.
“The group has been working with independent auditors Verisio and Bureau Veritas to carry out unannounced visits to suppliers and over the last eight months the majority of suppliers have been audited twice.
“Suppliers will continue to have their operations and standards monitored frequently to drive long-term positive change …”
Boohoo CEO John Lyttle said: “This is the not the end of a project for us at Boohoo but the beginning of a new way of working with our suppliers.
“We are driving positive change in the industry and want to play our part in rebuilding a vibrant manufacturing base in Leicester, one that offers good employment and great prospects for the workers and the industry in Leicester as a whole.
“The publication of our UK Supply Chain List marks another step on our journey towards greater transparency and embedding positive change, not only in our own organisation, but through the wider network of businesses that make up our supply chain.
“Through our Sustainability Strategy we are committing to ambitious targets across production, supply and governance to ensure the business is ready for the future.”