Fast fashion giant Boohoo has once again come under fire for its operations, this time in regards to reports that it had made “Made in the UK” claims on clothing that was believed to actually have been made in South Asia.
The allegations build on the findings of a wider investigation by BBC Panorama, which had initially set about unveiling possible supply chain and operational malpractices at the firm last November.
According to its latest findings, BBC said that plain T-shirts and hoodies had their original labels removed at Boohoo’s flagship factory, Thurmaston Lane in Leicester, last year, in place of ones that stated such garments were “Made in the UK”.
As such, there is the alleged potential that up to one in 250 Boohoo-made products have been impacted by the switch throughout January and October 2023.
Mislabeling result of ‘human error’
While in a statement to the media outlet Boohoo claimed this was an isolated incident, the BBC estimated that the move could amount to “hundreds of thousands of wrongly labelled garments”.
Noting that the misstep was “a result of human error”, a spokesperson for the company told the BBC: “We have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.”
The revelation came just days after reports began circulating that Boohoo was mulling the closure of the Leicester factory, which had already been under scrutiny by the BBC last year for allegations of unfair labour practices and supply chain discrepancies.
Initially opened in January 2022, the location was first marketed as a “model” facility for the group, an attempt to reinforce its commitment to the local community and UK manufacturing as a whole after a series of prior investigations into other facilities had led to various claims of poor conditions.
Now, however, Boohoo is said to be preparing for the closure amid plans to drive efficiency at the business, with a spokesperson for the retail group confirming such speculation in a statement that said it was in a period of consultation.