Boohoo signs up to strict ethical standards auditor in latest bid to rebuild reputation

Boohoo has agreed to sign up to forensic supply chain initiative in its latest push to rebuild its reputation as an ethical brand.

The fast fashion giant announced today alongside solid first quarter results that it will sign up to Fast Forward, an initiative designed to uncover hidden exploitation and audit evasion in supply chains.

Fast Forward, an industry-leading auditor which is used by rivals Asos and Marks & Spencer, will also examine whether Boohoo’s suppliers are potentially breaking employment laws and adhering to ethical labour standards.

This is the latest in a string of initiatives Boohoo has launched as it scrambles to regain both investor and customer confidence after a damning expose into its supply chain was published last year.

It found various health and safety violations, cases of failed payment of wages, failures in recording of hours and identity verification and potential furlough fraud.

READ MORE: Boohoo’s co-founder Carol Kane says she is “right person” to end company’s shame as she faces the axe

In October last year, while the scandal was still relatively fresh, GlobalData published research which found that 66.4 per cent of clothing and footwear shoppers said they were now discouraged from shopping with Boohoo.

However, Brian Leveson, the former judge who has been conducting numerous independent investigations into Boohoo’s supply chain, said that the retailer’s rapid push to rectify these issues meant its due diligence now went beyond many of its rivals.

“In my numerous discussions with … directors and managers at Boohoo, I remain encouraged by the determination of all to address the issues which were exposed last year and to both promote and embed a new way of working to the highest ethical standards,” he said.

While Boohoo’s share price has struggled to return to peaks seen before the scandal, its sales have continued to skyrocket throughout the pandemic.

This morning it said that sales in the three months to the end of May jumped 32 per cent to £486.1 million, including a 50 per cent growth in the UK to £274.6 million.

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