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Boohoo Group begins production at first manufacturing facility

By Huw Hughes

26 Jan 2022

Business

Image: Boohoo

Boohoo Group has begun production at its first-ever manufacturing site in Leicester.

The new 23,000 square foot factory on Thurmaston Lane in Leicester delivers capacity for tens of thousands of garments and will create up to 180 new jobs, Boohoo said on Wednesday.

The site will also double up as a training facility for product teams across all 13 of the group’s brands, which includes PrettyLittleThing, Debenhams, Nasty Gal, Karen Millen, Burton and Wallis.

The fast fashion giant said the automated factory is “proof of its commitment to the city of Leicester and ethical British manufacturing”.

Boohoo has come under fire in recent years for various reports of unsafe working conditions and minimum wage breaches at some of its suppliers in Leicester.

It launched an independent review into its UK supply chain in 2020 following a Sunday Times investigation that alleged certain factories supplying clothing to the group were forcing employees to work while sick with Covid-19 and paying just 3.50 pounds per hour.

The review found “many failings” in its supply chain, leading the group to cut ties with hundreds of factories.

Workers on-site at the new facility will receive private medical care and free allocation of company shares, Boohoo said.

The site will also be used to provide guidance to suppliers on how to become more sustainable and efficient.

Boohoo Group CEO John Lyttle said in a release: “The Thurmaston Lane site reinforces our commitment to UK manufacturing and our long-standing partnership with Leicester.

“It is more than just a factory, it’s a hub of learning and collaboration, as it gives our own teams the chance to work onsite and an opportunity to see a working factory first-hand.

“We welcome the opportunity to share that knowledge with the amazing education institutions in the city and strengthen our collaborative working relationships with our approved suppliers. It’s an exciting new chapter for the Boohoo Group.”