// Boohoo has started production at its first ever manufacturing site in Leicester, which was set up to ensure that workers in its supply chain are treated fairly
//The retailer was embroiled in a modern slavery scandal in 2020 when workers in its supplier factories in Leicester were found to be being underpaid
Boohoo has begun production at its first ever manufacturing site as it seeks to improve its reputation after it was found to use suppliers that paid workers below the minimum wage.
The retailer opened the 23,000 sq ft factory in Thurmaston Lane, Leicester, which it said is “proof of its commitment to the city of Leicester and ethical British manufacturing.”
Boohoo, which manufactures around 40% of its garments in Leicester has invested “millions of pounds” in the factory, which will create up to 180 jobs and has capacity to make up to 25,000 garments per week.
It comes after Boohoo found itself embroiled in the centre of a modern slavery scandal in 2020 after a Sunday Times investigation found that workers in suppliers that Boohoo used in Leicester were being paid as little of £3.50 an hour.
Following the reports, the fashion group set up an independent inquiry into supplier working conditions, head up by senior lawyer Alison Levitt QC, which found “many failings” in Boohoo’s supply chain.
Boohoo pledged to fix the problems with its “Agenda for Change” programme and in March last year severed ties with hundreds of British suppliers.
Boohoo chief executive John Lyttle said: “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.”