Before the world knew about the atrocious conditions and pay factory workers were receiving, who were making clothes for the fast fashion giant, Boohoo wasn’t just stocked on Boohoo.com. ASOS, Next and Amazon, just to name a few companies, who also stocked Boohoo on their websites to drive sales even further, but in recent light of events they have been removed from these sites as anger grows towards Boohoo over the mistreatment of workers. Since the mistreatment was revealed, it is estimated that Boohoo has lost £1.5 billion in just two days.
The allegations that caused global outrage were that factory workers were paid as little as £3.50 an hour as well as working in inhumane conditions, with little to no protection from coronavirus. On Tuesday, ASOS, Next and Amazon removed Boohoo from all of their sites as well as Very.co.uk and European e-commerce giant Zalando. A spokesperson for Amazon said that “Selling partners are required to follow all applicable laws, regulations and Amazon policies when selling in our store. We will be suspending the sale of the brands in question.”
Since then Boohoo has been forced to conduct an investigation over the claims of workers being paid half of the lowest minimum wage for a school leaver, most of these workers should have been paid £8.72 an hour or even the living wage, workers also could not receive sick pay or holiday. As well as this, workers were forced to work during the coronavirus with no protection, which is massively concerning considering that Leicester was one of the first UK cities to be placed under a local lockdown; there have also been claims that some people on the site had the symptoms of the deadly virus.
Zalando issued a statement saying that “we expect our partners to apply similar fundamental priorties and will distance ourselves from those who don’t.”
Boohoo also owns both Nasty Gal and PrettyLittleThing, but have maintained their ‘innocence’ and have denied all of these allegations and released a statement claiming that “we are working with our third party compliance partner to further investigate the claims raised and are working with suppliers to ensure compliance.”
The company is losing more and more shares and significantly declined 12% to 261.4p, which is the lowest it has been in three months. This has also resulted in a loss of £440 million off of their market capitalisation as well as losing £1.4 billion from their value.
Next have based their approach to working with other brands, was all ‘based on trust’ and that they were “not pre-judging the outcome of this process and no final decision has been made,” however regardless Boohoo items will not be available to buy on the site. As well as Amazon and ASOS are also taking temporary measures whilst they wait to see what happens with the investigation and what the final outcome will be.
Moving forward there will always be even more speculation around fast fashion, even more around Boohoo specifically. Can they ever recover from this?