Boohoo Group is starting production at a new UK factory that it says is “proof of its commitment to the city of Leicester and ethical British manufacturing”.
The pureplay says the new 23,000 sq ft factory gives it the capacity to make tens of thousands of garments for its 13 brands. It will operate two shifts, giving it the potential to create up to 180 new jobs.
The site will be used to train product teams on all of its 13 brands – which include Oasis, Warehouse, Karen Millen and Coast as well as Boohoo.com and PrettyLittleThing. The site will also be used to provide guidance for suppliers, as Boohoo works with them to improve operational and production efficiencies and to make their businesses more sustainable.
An initial group of staff have now been through two weeks of paid training, while a second shift will start to be hired in February. Staff are guaranteed 40 hour contracts, while benefits include pay rates set above the National Minimum Wage, 33 days paid holidays, medical care, shares, and a 40% employee discount on Boohoo’s brands.
John Lyttle, chief executive of Boohoo Group, says: “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.”
Boohoo Group has been working to create an ethical supply chain since allegations of poor factory working conditions and pay below minimum wage levels emerged during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. Since then it has followed an agenda for change, appointing Sir Brian Leveson and KPMG to oversee its progress, published its UK manufacturing list, is committed to doing the same for its global supplier list in September, and developed a new sustainability strategy.