Quiz has become the latest fast fashion retailer to review its supply chain amid reports that underpaid workers have been making its clothing.
The retailer today said it had suspended working with one of its suppliers because it believed it had sub-contracted work to a Leicester factory that is the subject of a National Living Wage complaint. The decision to outsource to the supplier in question was, it said, in direct contravention of its previous instructions. It said: “Quiz has immediately suspended activity with the supplier pending further investigation.”
Quiz said it was “extremely concerned” about media reports and said that if the allegations were found to be accurate it would be “totally unacceptable” and that it would stop working with the suppplier. The Times this weekend reported that workers at a Leicester-based supplier were being paid below the national living wage.
This comes days after Boohoo appointed Alison Levitt QC to examine its supply chain following allegations that a Leicester supplier had underpaid staff working on Boohoo clothing, and that those staff were working in non-Covid secure conditions. That retailer has come under pressure from investors to ensure that the people who work in its supply chain do so safely.
Today Quiz said in its statement: “The board is aware that Quiz has clear-cut social responsibilities and legal obligations and understands the critical importance of ensuring the group’s products are sourced from manufacturers whose business operations conform to appropriate standards.
“All suppliers to Quiz must comply with the group’s ethical code of practice. Relationships with any suppliers who fail to comply with this code or meet the group’s standards will be terminated. Quiz monitors its supplier base through audits and site visits and is in the advanced stages of appointing an independent third-party partner to provide more regular audits of suppliers in the Leicester region.”
Tarak Ramzan, chief executive of Quiz, said: “We are extremely concerned and disappointed to be informed of the alleged breach of National Living Wage requirements in a factory making Quiz products. The alleged breaches to both the law and Quiz’s ethical code of practice are totally unacceptable. We are thoroughly investigating this incident and will also conduct a fuller review of our supplier auditing processes to ensure that they are robust. We will update our stakeholders in due course.”
Quiz is a Top250 retailer in RXUK Top500 research.