In recent years, Gen Z are viewed as being one of the most conscientious generations, especially when it comes climate change and supporting ethical businesses, however there are still a lot of Gen Z’s who can’t resist a fast fashion bargain, especially online.
During the lovely lockdown, Boohoo was one of the most used websites for Gen Z, where sales were up by 45% in three months. Despite this a third of their share price has vanished, along with £1.5 billion of their market value, why? In case you’ve been living under a rock this week, there have been allegations of factory workers in Leicester who supply clothes to boohoo, not paying their workers significantly less than the national minimum wage and working in cramped and dangerous conditions. Leicester was also hugely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and is still in a local lockdown, which raised more flags as well since there was no protection for workers, even something as simple as social distancing.
In the last year Boohoo has made over £1 billion in the last year, a tenfold increase in the last five years, mostly thanks to Gen Z. Boohoo is one of the most popular retailers for Gen Z to buy their clothes from, along with PrettyLittleThing, Missguided, Nasty Gal and ASOS being the most popular. Even after this they will still continue to buy from these stores, due to the fact that this age demographic doesn’t have as much money to buy expensive clothes. Gen Z is also seeing the clothes worn by Instagram influencers and also see the clothes also worn on TV shows like Love Island that end up on the website hours after being broadcasted. If enough people are sharing it online and ordering that, then it tells the brands demand is there and they will keep ordering. However, after the claims about factories in Leicester it cannot be ignored, Boohoo might be doing an investigation into the factories, but no one will ever forget about this.
There have always been concerns about Boohoo’s supply chain for years now, they have been called out multiple times by the media and even in the 2018 report by the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee and wanted to end ‘throwaway fashion’. Analysts have noticed that if there is an increasing focus on environmental and social governance means that when events like this happen, negative PR becomes a lot harder for them to control.
More young people choose to buy from websites like this simply because you get more clothes for your money. However, with the rise of social media, a lot of them also buy it to create content online such as doing a ‘boohoo haul’ or doing a ‘boohoo look book’ for example. Despite all of this younger people end up being left with little to no choice but to stick with these brands, all because for them in the current moment there is a huge lack of a better and more ethically sustainable alternative.