Fashion chains drop Boohoo brand over allegations of low pay and poor conditions

A factory in Leicester
A factory in Leicester Credit: ITV News Central

Three fashion retailers have dropped online brand Boohoo over allegations of low pay and poor conditions at a factory it uses in Leicester.

Enderby-based Next and Asos have dropped Boohoo clothing from their websites after claims that the fast-fashion retailer sold clothes made in factories where staff were paid less than the minimum wage, and worked in poor conditions.

Other online retailers, including Zalando and, have also temporarily suspended the sale of Boohoo items.

  • More than one billion pounds has been wiped off Boohoo's share value in the past few days, since a damning Sunday Times article alleged that workers were being badly underpaid

The issue of working conditions in the fashion supply chain is back in the forefront Credit: ITV News Central

National Crime Agency teams say they're now in the process of assessing information they've received regarding allegations of modern slavery in the textile industry in Leicester.

They are now working with Leicestershire Police, the HMRC, the Health and Safety Executive, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue and Home Office Immigration Enforcement on the issue, and say their primary focus is "the protection of vulnerable people and safeguarding them from harm".

They say they will continue to visit businesses in Leicester as part of their investigative work.

In a statement Boohoo management said it is "shocked and appalled" by the recent allegations made, and confirmed it is committed to rebuilding the reputation of the textile manufacturing industry in Leicester.

It said it "will not hesitate to terminate relationships with any supplier who does not comply".

Baroness Verma spoke to our reporter Rajiv Popat in Leicester. She is calling for an investigation into what she calls the failure of agencies to ensure workers in similar factories are not exploited again.

This comes as textile manufacturers in Leicester say reports that garment factories have contributed to the recent Coronavirus surge are hugely misleading and bad for the industry.