Boohoo has appointed Sir Brian Leveson and KPMG to give independent oversight of its work to move towards an ethical supply chain.
The move follows a report into the fast fashion retailer’s supply chain, published in September, that found its monitoring of its Leicester-based supply chain to be inadequate. The report, by Alison Levitt QC, found previous allegations of poor working conditions and pay that was below the minimum wage to be “substantially true”. It said that senior directors had known there were serious issues about the way factory workers in Leicester had been treated and that it did not move quickly enough to remedy that. The report said: “Boohoo’s culpability lies not in doing nothing but that they did too little too late.”
At the time Boohoo Group said it would take action in six key areas – from responsible sourcing to improved governance – and that it planned to raise its supply chain standards. Today’s appointment sees Sir Brian Leveson, known for his review of the newspaper industry, provide independent oversight of its Agenda for Change programme and its business practices. KPMG will work with the Boohoo Group’s responsible sourcing and compliance team and with its supply chain auditors, Bureau Veritas and Versio.
Sir Brian Leveson PC, who is probably best known for his review of newspaper regulation, said today: “Boohoo has recognised that it must institute and embed change so that everyone involved in the Group’s supply chain is treated fully in accordance with the law and the principles of ethical trading. I look forward to providing independent oversight of the Agenda for Change programme and to working with the boohoo team, KPMG and the other independent experts to achieve this, while, at the same time, providing publicly available progress reports.”
Mahmud Kamani, Boohoo Group executive chairman, said: “I am encouraged by the progress that has been made to date by our teams since setting out our Agenda for Change programme in September. Myself and the board are fully committed to this programme, with the appointments of Sir Brian Leveson and KPMG bringing independent oversight, additional expertise and further transparency to a programme that will help us on our journey to lead the fashion e-commerce market globally in a transparent manner.”
Boohoo.com is a Top100 retailer in RXUK Top500 research. The group also owns brands including Karen Millen, ranked Top100, Top50-ranked Oasis, and Coast, Warehouse and NastyGal, ranked Top250.